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Aetna vs. Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance

Which health insurance company is the best option for you and your family? Compare Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield side by side.

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Aetna vs. Blue Cross Blue Shield: What You Need to Know

Aetna History

In 1850, Aetna Insurance Company created a fund to sell life insurance. In 1853 the life and health divisions of Aetna separated. The company’s first president was Eliphalet A. Bulkeley. The name “Aetna” was taken from an 11,000-foot volcano in Sicily, Italy, which was also the most active volcano in Europe.

Blue Cross History

Blue Cross was formed in 1929 as a partnership between Baylor University Hospital and its patients who were struggling financially. The administrators of the hospital wanted to make healthcare more affordable for some patients, many of whom were Dallas public school educators on restricted budgets. The initial payment plan set up by Baylor University Hospital consisted of a 50-cent prepay each month for up to 21 days of hospitalization per year. The success of the program leads to enrollment by employees in other professions across Dallas.

To learn more about each company, you can check out the Aetna Overview and Blue Cross Blue Shield Overview.

What Are Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield's Insurance Ratings?

Which health insurance company is better? We've made it easy to compare companies side by side. See how Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield ranked among the industry ratings.

ComparisonAetnaBlue Cross Blue Shield
Year Founded18531929
BBB RatingA+A-
NAIC Complaint Index6.27 for individual health insurance
Market Share Percentage4.53%14.1%
Financial StrengthExcellentExcellent
S&P RatingA+

Pros & Cons of Aetna or Blue Cross Blue Shield

Pros

Aetna
  • Aetna is one of the largest insurance carriers and has a vast network of providers.
Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield is financially strong and stable
  • As a subsidiary of Anthem Inc. BCBS is one of the most prominent health insurers.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield offers global coverage and a global coverage app on iTunes and GooglePlay.
  • BCBS is available in 50 states and is accepted by 90% of doctors and specialists.

Cons

Aetna
  • It’s not very easy to buy Aetna Insurance unless it’s offered by an employer.
Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Shields prices are slightly higher than the average.

Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield Mobile Apps Options

The Aetna Health app allows you to find a doctor in your area and see estimates of what certain procedures may cost. You can also view your benefits, review account balances, and manage your claims. The App is available on ios and Android.

Each state has its own Blue Cross Blue Shield app on iTunes and GooglePlay. The app allows users to find doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies, view claims, pay bill, and manage prescriptions.

Aetna Mobile App
iOS     4.529.3K users
Android     3.42,316 users
Blue Cross Blue Shield Mobile App
Blue Cross Blue Shield mobile app varies by state

Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield Enrollment Process

Aetna

Aetna is available through participating employers. You can also buy an individual or family plan directly from Aetna, the health insurance marketplace or you can get several free quotes here.

At this time, Aetna offers Medicare, Medicaid, student health insurance and international insurance. For individual and family plans, they offer plans through eHealth, which compares rates from several companies for the Affordable Care Act plans, short-term plans, and medical indemnity plans.

Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield is available through participating employers for group insurance. You can also buy an individual or family plan directly from Blue Cross Blue Shield, the health insurance marketplace or you can get several free quotes here.

You can also contact 888.630.2583 to learn more about Blue Cross Blue Shield options for individuals and families or find a local BCBS company by visiting here.

How to File a Claim with Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance

When using an in-network doctor or hospital, your claims will be submitted to the insurance company by that provider. If you see an out-of-network provider, then you will need to submit a claim form yourself. Aetna, for example, has a list of forms that must be mailed to the mailing address provided on the form. Also, be sure to review your policy details for state-specific steps required when filing a claim.

Both Aetna and Blue Cross allow you to review the current status of your claim through the mobile app.

Common Questions About Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna Insurance

Does Aetna have a good network?

Aetna’s boasts an impressive network of 1.2 million health care providers. Within this network are over 5,700 hospitals and over 700,000 primary care doctors and specialists.

What is the difference between Blue Shield and Blue Cross?

Both Blue Shield and Blue Cross are solid insurance companies that deliver health insurance to local communities nationwide. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a collection of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

What is the BlueCard® program?

BlueCard® is a national program that allows Blue Cross Blue Shield Plan members to get health care services while traveling or living in another Blue Plan’s service area.

Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Contact Info

Aetna Contact Info
Address151 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06156
Phone1 (800)-872-3862
Websitehttps://www.aetna.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/aetna/
Youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/aetna
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Aetna
Linkedinhttps://www.linkedin.com/company/aetna/
Blue Cross Blue Shield Contact Info
Address225 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
Phone1 (888) 630 - 2583
Websitehttps://www.bcbs.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AnthemBlueCrossBlueShield/
Youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/user/bluecrossblueshield
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/BCBSAssociation
Linkedinhttps://www.linkedin.com/company/blue-cross-and-blue-shield-association/

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