How to Choose a Health Plan

There are many things to consider when choosing a health insurance plan. You want a plan that will meet your needs for types of coverage, access and dependability at a reasonable cost. Ask yourself the following questions to help steer your decision:

Do I want basic or more comprehensive coverage?
Some insurance plans (such as our BlueSelect®) offer basic coverage that protects your finances in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury. These types of plans typically have a lower monthly premium, but you are responsible for more of your healthcare costs each year.

Other health insurance plans (such as our BlueSense and Blue Max) offer more comprehensive coverage that may include chemical dependency or behavioral healthcare, maternity benefits, prescription drug benefits, vision care and eye care and routine doctor visits. These types of plans tend to have a higher monthly premium and may be more appropriate for those who plan to use their insurance benefits on a regular basis.

Is my doctor or hospital covered by the plan?
You need to check the insurance plan's network provider directory to confirm that your doctor or hospital is included in the plan's network. If you use doctors that are in the plan's network, you will receive the highest level of benefits.

Does the plan's network require a referral?
You may need a referral from a primary care physician to see a specialist with some health insurance plans. You would need to check the details of the policy to find out if your plan would require a referral to see a specialist.

Does the health insurance plan cover me if I travel?
Some plans have provider networks that are based on where you live. If you travel outside of that area, you are typically not covered by your health insurance plan. However, most all of our plans include access to the BlueCard® and Blue Cross Blue Shield Global Core; therefore, you may be covered almost anywhere you travel to in the United States and in 200 countries around the world.

Does the health insurance plan cover services that are important to me?
You must decide what services are important to you such as preventive care and maternity coverage. Some plans do not cover these types of services; therefore, you may want to consider plans such as Blue Max that include coverage for preventive services as well as labor and delivery if you are planning a family.

Does the health insurance plan cover my family?
Make sure to purchase family coverage and not single-only coverage if you need coverage for your family now or in the near future.

Does the plan work with a health savings account (HSA)?
Some high-deductible health plans, such as our BlueSaver®, work with tax-favored health savings accounts that can be used to pay for certain qualified medical expenses. With our BlueSaver® coverage and an HSA established in a financial institution, your catastrophic needs are covered while you build a financial cushion for your later medical needs.

Are prescription drugs covered under my health insurance plan?
Prescription medication coverage varies by plan. Some of our plans require that you pay a copayment depending on the type of drug purchased, and we will pay the rest of the cost. Other plans require that you must first meet your deductible before anything is paid.

Most drugs have a formulary, or list of drugs, that the plan covers. Find out if your medication is covered with a Blue Cross health insurance plan.

Does BCBSLA offer guidance to help me determine my health coverage needs and select a plan for me and my family?
Yes. AskBlue™ is a personalized guide to healthcare coverage options. It will help you understand your needs and will suggest a plan family that will fit those needs and fall within your budget.

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