UnitedHealthcare vs. Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance

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

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

UnitedHealth Group was founded in 1977 by Richard Burke and went public in 1984. It was Dr. Paul Ellwood, who coined the term “health maintenance organization,” and who helped Burke start-up UnitedHealth. In 1979, the company created the first network senior health plan.

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.

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

What is UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Rating?

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

ComparisonUnitedHealthcareBlue Cross Blue Shield
Year Founded19771929
Medicare Star Rating4.5 stars (out of 5)
BBB RatingA+A-
Market Share Percentage14.1%
Financial StrengthExcellent
S&P RatingA+

Pros & Cons of UnitedHealthcare or Blue Cross Blue Shield


  • Robust health plans and benefits for Medicare and Medicaid recipients.
  • Marketplace plans for individuals and families that do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.
  • Popular mobile app makes it easy to stay on top of your account.
  • UnitedHealth is available in all 50 states.
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.


  • Plans are in general more expensive than those of other health insurance providers.
Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Shields prices are slightly higher than the average.

UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield Mobile Apps Options

The Health4Me app from UnitedHealthcare allows you to look for doctors and review your coverage and benefits.

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.

UnitedHealthcare Mobile App
iOS     4.510.1K users
Android     4.616,316 users
Blue Cross Blue Shield Mobile App
Blue Cross Blue Shield mobile app varies by State.

UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield Enrollment Process


UnitedHealth Group offers plans through the health insurance marketplace. You can begin searching for plans with SmartFinancial's Healthcare Insurance page.

Each state has its own marketplace. If you’re not sure where to begin, visit

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 with SmartFinancial.

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 UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance


UnitedHealth Group pays network providers directly but if you are billed by a provider, you can contact UnitedHealth Group at 1 (800) 328-5979. If you are filing a claim for an out-of-network provider for an emergency or because you were referred to the provider by UnitedHealth Group you must submit the following information

  • The Policyholder's name and address.
  • The patient's name and age.
  • The number stated on your ID card.
  • The name and address of the provider of the service(s).
  • The name and address of any ordering Physician.
  • A diagnosis from the Physician.
  • An itemized bill from your provider that includes the Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes or a description of each charge.
  • The date the Injury or Sickness began.
  • A statement indicating either that you are, or you are not, enrolled for coverage under any other health insurance plan or program. If you are enrolled for other coverage you must include the name of the other carrier(s).

The above information should be sent to: UnitedHealthcare P.O. Box 740800 Atlanta, GA 30374-0800

If filing a claim for Outpatient Prescription Drug Benefits, your claims should be submitted to: Optum Rx P.O. Box 29077 Hot Springs, AR 71903

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.

Common Questions About Blue Cross Blue Shield and UnitedHealthcare Insurance


What is Optum from the UnitedHealth Group?

Optum is UnitedHealth Group’s pharmacy manager and care services group. Optum operates across 150 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

How does UnitedHealth Short term health insurance work?

UnitedHealth’s short term medical insurance can provide a temporary solution if you’re between jobs, waiting for coverage to begin, or waiting to be accepted by Medicare. This coverage is also an option outside of open enrollment.

Can I use UnitedHealthcare out of state?

UnitedHealthcare operates in all 50 states so you should be covered. It’s a good idea to speak with your agent prior to travel, just to be sure there are providers in the area you’re visiting.

Is UnitedHealthcare an HMO or PPO?

UnitedHealth offers HMO and PPO plans.

Check out our full list of common questions about UnitedHealthcare.

Blue Cross Blue Shield

How does Blue Cross Blue Shield work?

Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) offers employer-provided health insurance or group health insurance. BCBS also offers individual and family health plans.

What is the Blue365® program?

Blue365 is a free health and wellness discount program offered to members. It includes discounts on gym memberships, fitness gear, healthy eating options and more.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield cover outside the US?

For people living or working abroad for an extended period of time, there are GeoBlue plans available through BCBS.

What is Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare?

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield offers a Medicare Supplement Plan, also called “Medigap” which pays for out-of-pocket expenses you’ll have with Original Medicare. Blue Cross Blue Shield also offers Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Part C. This is Medicare coverage through private health insurance companies approved to participate in the Medicare program.

Check out our full list of common questions about Blue Cross Blue Shield.

UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Contact Info

UnitedHealthcare Contact Info
AddressP.O. Box 1459, Minneapolis, MN 55440-1459
Phone1 (800) 328-5979
Blue Cross Blue Shield Contact Info
Address225 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601
Phone1 (888) 630 - 2583

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