There can be few in the United States who do not know the name of America's oldest health insurance provider. But, despite its age and the fact that it provides cover for some one-third of all Americans, just how good is Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance?
Many people who use Blue Cross Blue Shield appear to have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance provides a relatively cheap alternative to a large number of other health care plans but, on the other hand, it also seems that this is very much a case of 'you get what you pay for'.
Certainly the cost for Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance is comparatively low, but the price that you pay for this is often seen in the fact that it takes for ever to get the care you need. It can often take several weeks simply to get an appointment and, once you do get to see a doctor, it can then take several more weeks, if not months, to get the referral to a specialist if this proves to be necessary.
The real problem of course is that this does not simply apply to Blue Cross Blue Shield and there are a significant number of other providers out there who are just as bad.
Whether you are looking at HMOs, PPOs, or any other sort of healthcare provider, many have their problems and, invariably, the root of the problem is simply the age old question of money. Just like any other type of business, health insurance companies seek to maximize their profits while providing the minimum level of care which their customers will accept. In the case of Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance you at least have an advantage over those people who have to pay more, but this is small comfort.
So just what is the answer to this problem?
Well, in the long run of course the only thing that will really make a difference is to move to a system of single payer health care. In those countries where everybody pays into a central health system through their taxes everyone, regardless of whether they have money or not, has their health needs met and gone are the days when we saw families suffering simply because of an inability to meet their doctor's bill.
Until the day comes when we have a single payer healthcare system a significant number of Americans will live as they do now in fear of getting sick, knowing that, if this were to happen, it could put a strain on their resources which might well land them in such debt that they will simply never recover.
Enough of the daydreaming though because the fact of the matter is that universal healthcare is a long way off if it comes at all and, for the time being, we are stuck with what we have which for many means Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance may not be the best in the world but perhaps, alongside the other providers available, they are not a bad alternative for the price. At the end of the day Blue Cross Blue Shield has been around longer than any other insurer and provides health insurance for a greater proportion of the population than anyone else, so they must be doing something right.
This is of course only one personal view and your own experience may be quite different.