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health care question for living in two different places.
Old 11-29-2010, 06:06 PM   #1
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health care question for living in two different places.

i am living in md with blue cross/ care first plan. i want to live in phoenix az area for 3-6 months. i was told by health plan that i don't have coverage, except emergency type coverage. after emergency they want me to return to md for doctors and drugs, etc. if i get a ppo it will be more money but might give me the coverage.
what do people do who live in two different states to have the coverage that is not rediculously higher in these days?
thanks
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:05 AM   #2
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pick a insurance company that supplies coverage in both states: try ehealthinsurance.com, run quote requests for both states.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by theboogers View Post
i am living in md with blue cross/ care first plan. i want to live in phoenix az area for 3-6 months. i was told by health plan that i don't have coverage, except emergency type coverage. after emergency they want me to return to md for doctors and drugs, etc. if i get a ppo it will be more money but might give me the coverage.
what do people do who live in two different states to have the coverage that is not rediculously higher in these days?
thanks
These state-only plans are a realy limitation to a country of mobile citizens. BCBS is a separate entity in each state and does not really have a nation-wide network or plans.

UHC has nationwide plans (I have one) because they have a large network across the country. Aetna may have similar options.

One aspect of the health reform is a requirement for at least one nation-wide coverage plan to be offered in every insurance market.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:37 AM   #4
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If you can't find a nation wide plan you may be stuck. I am stuck this way as I travel out of state many months of the year. I am only covered for emergencies when I am out of state. However, even though I have to get my drugs through my Minnesota doctor, if I am not in Minnesota I can pick them up at a pharmacy in another state because I use Target pharmacy. So, it works out OK.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:50 AM   #5
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I am with BCBS of Louisiana but now live permanently in Texas. (I have employee retirement and my ex-employer is in Louisiana). Fortunately the plan allows a PPO option which is what I have. I can go onto the BCBS of Louisinana site and see which doctors are within plan for Texas. It works very well for me. (While employed, I did a 4 year assignment in Texas 2004 -2008 and it worked well then).
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:48 AM   #6
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In our case, from Oregon with Kaiser Permanente, it factored large and was a major reason for buying in California rather than Arizona. I would have been happy rolling the dice for a few years in hopes the nation's health care issues get sorted to our favor, but SWMBO was not so cavalier.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by theboogers View Post
i am living in md with blue cross/ care first plan. i want to live in phoenix az area for 3-6 months. i was told by health plan that i don't have coverage, except emergency type coverage. after emergency they want me to return to md for doctors and drugs, etc. if i get a ppo it will be more money but might give me the coverage.
what do people do who live in two different states to have the coverage that is not rediculously higher in these days?
thanks
I sell CareFirst in MD, so I am guessing you have the BlueChoice HMO plan? The BluePreferred PPO plan would give you nationwide BCBS network coverage. They also have a new plan called HealthyBlue that is a POS plan, which is sort of a combination between HMO and PPO. Your option would be to get either another plan from CF that will give you nationwide coverage, or apply with a company that will, like United Healthcare as someone else mentioned.

CareFirst policies are usually way more expensive than other companies...you might be able to get a United Healthcare plan for less money that offers the nationwide coverage, but that also depends on your health of course if this isn't a group plan.
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:07 PM   #8
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I sell CareFirst in MD, so I am guessing you have the BlueChoice HMO plan? The BluePreferred PPO plan would give you nationwide BCBS network coverage. They also have a new plan called HealthyBlue that is a POS plan, which is sort of a combination between HMO and PPO. Your option would be to get either another plan from CF that will give you nationwide coverage, or apply with a company that will, like United Healthcare as someone else mentioned.

CareFirst policies are usually way more expensive than other companies...you might be able to get a United Healthcare plan for less money that offers the nationwide coverage, but that also depends on your health of course if this isn't a group plan.
Is this bluepreferred plan available nation-wide? Last time we checked with our agent (Fl) he indicated BCBS didn't have any offerings along that line. Of course, he may have been talking about policies with similar pricing. We're in renewal process right now - good time to take a look.
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:12 PM   #9
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Is this bluepreferred plan available nation-wide? Last time we checked with our agent (Fl) he indicated BCBS didn't have any offerings along that line. Of course, he may have been talking about policies with similar pricing. We're in renewal process right now - good time to take a look.
The plan isn't available nationwide, I meant that it was a PPO plan where you have nationwide access to BCBS providers (physicians/hospitals/etc). With the BlueChoice HMO plan, you only have access to doctors in the MD/DC/VA area for non-emergencies. I'm not sure what BCBS of Florida offers, they are a different company than CareFirst. I would be surprised if they didn't have any sort of PPO plan though.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:01 PM   #10
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I checked my BCBS card and it says PreferredCare PPO. However I have it as a retiree through my previous employer.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:57 PM   #11
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I checked my BCBS card and it says PreferredCare PPO. However I have it as a retiree through my previous employer.
You probably have access to the national/international BlueCard network then. Check your policy or call customer service, they should be able to confirm.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:07 PM   #12
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You probably have access to the national/international BlueCard network then. Check your policy or call customer service, they should be able to confirm.
Yes, I already know that I have it, and I have used it. I log onto their website then enter the address I'm interested in and get a list of in-network providers with a specified radius. Perfect for the extensive travelling we now do.

PS - just selected the UK, and put in the City we'll be living in for a few months next year and the local Hospital is also included and will accept our BCBS card - cool !!
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