Blue Cross Blue Shield vs. WellCare Insurance

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

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

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 lead to enrollment by employees in other professions across Dallas.

In 1985, Wellcare began as a Medicaid provider for the state of Florida, with operations in Tampa, Florida. After the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 was passed, WellCare began offering Medicare Part C, now called Medicare Advantage. In 2003, it offered Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage. In 2004, Wellcare went public. In November 2013, WellCare appointed Chairman David Gallitano to serve as interim CEO. He increased spending on technology and famously dorned the walls with photographs and portraits of health plan members, including people who suffer from chronic conditions like cancer, homelessness and hunger. In 2014, WellCare hired Kenneth Burdick as the new CEO and board member. He’d originally joined the company as the president of national health plans but was promoted first to president and COO and eventually CEO. In September 2017, Wellcare announced a rebrand with a focus on holistic health: “Beyond Healthcare: A Better You.” In October 2017, Wellcare announced the UNC Health Alliance primary care physicians and specialists into its Medicare Advantage network. Wellcare operates in 20 states and was recognized by Fortune magazine as One of the World’s Most Admired Companies in January 2018. In January 2020, Wellcare was acquired by Centene Corporation.

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

What is Blue Cross Blue Shield and WellCare Insurance Rating?

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

Comparison Blue Cross Blue Shield WellCare
Year Founded 1929 1985
Medicare Star Rating   3.57 stars (out of 5)
BBB Rating A- A+
Market Share Percentage 14.1%  
Financial Strength Excellent  
S&P Rating A+  

Pros & Cons of Blue Cross Blue Shield or WellCare


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.
  • Affordable Medicare plans with many options for savings.
  • Offers PPO plans for Medicare Advantage, allowing for more freedom in choosing providers.


Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Shields prices are slightly higher than the average.
  • The PPO plans are only available in select counties in New York, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
  • Medicare ratings have dropped over the past few years, possibly due to rapid expansion and acquisition.

Blue Cross Blue Shield and WellCare Mobile Apps Options

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.

The MyWellCare app allows you to keep track of your benefits, look for providers, and use it as a digital ID Card.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Mobile App
Blue Cross Blue Shield mobile app varies by State.    
WellCare Mobile App
iOS      1.7 53 users
Android      2.3 209 users

Blue Cross Blue Shield and WellCare Enrollment Process

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.


You can get several free health insurance quotes here. For Wellcare enrollment forms visit here.

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

Blue Cross Blue Shield

If you use a network doctor or hospital, your claims will be submitted by that provider. If you see an out-of-network provider, you need to submit the claim yourself. You must submit a completed claim form or alternative documentation via fax or mailing address. As an alternative to sending a claim form, supply a description of services, a bill of charges from the provider and any medical documents you received from your provider.

For medical and/or dental services in the U.S. Puerto Rico or the U.S Virgin islands, Use these claim forms. For anywhere else or on a cruise ship outside the U.S. use the Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core international claim forms. For prescriptions inside or outside the U.S. or U.S. territories: Use these claim forms.


Your doctor or care provider should submit a claim to the insurer. You should be covered except for copay. Your insurer will send you an explanation of benefits. If you owe anything, your doctor will send you a bill. If you visit an out-of-network provider, you will not be covered unless it was an emergency. Call 855-672-2755 with any additional questions.

Common Questions About WellCare and Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance

Blue Cross Blue Shield

What are Blue Cross out-of-pocket maximums?

When your deductible, coinsurance and copays reach the individual maximum, the plan pays 100 percent of the allowed amount for that person.

How to cancel Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance?

To cancel your Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, speak with an agent or call.

What is a flexible spending account by Blue Cross?

A flexible spending account is a way to set aside money for medical, dental and vision expenses or dependent care. You accumulate money in your account through pre-tax deductions from your paycheck. Your employer owns the account and may contribute to it as well as yourself, but decide how to spend the funds.

Does Blue Cross cover Lasik?

You can receive up to 25% off laser vision surgery if you have a Blue Cross Blue Shield vision plan. You can also use a flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to pay for the vision correction procedure.


What is WellCare insurance?

WellCare provides managed care services through Medicaid, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug plans.

Is WellCare good insurance?

WellCare received 3.57 stars out of 5 by Medicare’s rating system. It has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Who takes WellCare insurance?

Wellcare has a network of providers. To find a WellCare provider or to see if your doctor accepts Wellcare, visit here.

Are Wellcare and Centene the same?

Centene acquired Wellcare in January 2020.

Blue Cross Blue Shield and WellCare Insurance Contact Info

Blue Cross Blue Shield Contact Info
Address 225 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
Phone 1 (888) 630 - 2583
WellCare Contact Info
Address P.O. Box 31370
Phone 1 (800) 960-2530

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