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mail handlers vs BCBS
Old 12-27-2008, 02:51 PM   #1
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mail handlers vs BCBS

I have been in Mail Handlers for 20 years....don't really have any real life comparison to judge. I have had a couple of instances in the past where when I gave the insurance name to a medical institution I got the Mail Handlers dumb stare and then they had to check on it. In fact my doctor after my last knee operation was no longer able to deal with me any more since Mail Handlers was not one of their insurance company's they did business with. Anybody dealt with both company's? Or have any opinions either from personal experience or friends?
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Old 12-27-2008, 02:56 PM   #2
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Sounds like you are on FEHB.

I've had BCBS & Kaiser HMO in the past and had mixed-satisfaction with both.

We've had NALC for the past 6 or 7 years. We've been quite happy with NALC. I compare every year & never find a good reason to switch.
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F4mandolin View Post
I have been in Mail Handlers for 20 years....don't really have any real life comparison to judge. I have had a couple of instances in the past where when I gave the insurance name to a medical institution I got the Mail Handlers dumb stare and then they had to check on it. In fact my doctor after my last knee operation was no longer able to deal with me any more since Mail Handlers was not one of their insurance company's they did business with. Anybody dealt with both company's? Or have any opinions either from personal experience or friends?
I've been on Mail Handlers for about the same length of time. I get that 'dumb stare' too sometimes, but it's OK after they look it up.

No problems with the company itself.

I have the high deductible version.

Haven't been in a situation where a doctor was no longer PPO.
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:58 AM   #4
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I have had the federal BCBS family coverage for almost 40 years. Coverage is very good. Here in the D.C. area almost all doctors accept it and most are preferred providers (can't bill more than co-insurance and what BCBS pays). Rx coverage is good, although in 2009 brand name drugs through the mail-in service go from $35 to $65 for a 90 day supply. Like everything else, premiums go up regularly.

Every open seasons I look at the other plans and decide to stay with BCBS.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:37 AM   #5
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I haven't looked at the BCBS rates these days, I "was" paying $104 a month until the first of the year I think for just me on standard coverage. I will be putting my wife (UK citizen) on it next year most likely if we retire next year. Just wondering how that compares with BCBS. Neither of us ever gets sick, so I get lazy thinking about things.....in reality I know that things could go wrong at any time....but you always think it will be somebody else....
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:40 AM   #6
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I've never heard of Mail Handlers, but used to work for one of the BCBS plans.

Just remember that each BCBS is a separate company (a few are run as separate businesses but owned by one plan). They all have to follow the Cross/Shield rules to retain their cross/shield but most are individual businesses...most are non profits too.

So, if someone loves the BCBS in their state, it doesn't mean that another plan in another state has the same great rating.
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Old 12-30-2008, 11:26 AM   #7
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I had GEHA the high version and switched two years ago to BCBS and I am really happy with it . Easy to deal with ,fast response and lots of doctors and facilities . BCBS has the same benefits as GEHA but at a lower premium .
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:38 PM   #8
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I decided to stick with BCBS basic. I almost went for stardard, for out of network bennies, but not sure what I may need out of network. Price difference was huge.

I've had BCBS for quite some time. Fast processing and just about everyone up here is in network.
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Old 12-31-2008, 05:33 PM   #9
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We have had BC Standard through OPM for about 12 years, as well as Medicare A & B. The premium really jumped this year. We switched to GEHA after using "CheckBook" online.

Open season was extended through the end of January, FWIW, because BC's plan description had many issues requiring clarification.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:34 PM   #10
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I've been under FEHB for 27 years now. In that time, I've tried GEHA(early to mid 80's) Mail Handlers (85-87) PruCare & Central Texas Health Plan HMO's (88-91) and then switched to BCBS in '92, stayed there ever since. I think they're a little pricey, but all of the plans are so whatcha gonna do? For the difference you might save in premiums vs. a different plan, what are you willing to give up? Personally, I like being able to whip out my BCBS card pretty much anyplace in the country & have no problem seeing whoever I want to see. Very few places don't take BCBS. I did have an issue once when I was on one of the HMO's. I just like the universal acceptance of BCBS. I recently transferred to Wisconsin from Louisiana and briefly considered a local plan that some folks swear by called DeanCare. I think, after more consideration I'll stick with BCBS. Guess I just don't like change or the unknown lol! As for my Mail Handler's experience, it was a long time ago, and they probably don't do business the same way they used to, but I seem to remember they had kind of stingy "reasonable & customary" amounts they'd pay and that was it. Normally, what they paid was less than I wanted them too. After a couple of years, I had to try something else. I liked GEHA back in the day, but can't comment on how they are nowadays. I currently have self & family option, with myself, my wife & an 18 yr old son covered. We're in decent health & BCBS meets our needs. I just wish the premiums would recede a little. Yeah, right!
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Old 12-31-2008, 07:48 PM   #11
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2009 will be a very interesting year for health care for the wife and me. I was covered by General Motors for 34 years. Effective today, we no longer are covered. GM has made the transition very easy but the results remain to be seen. We've know this was coming since July so I had time to do some research. We've both been covered by Medicare as our primary since 2001 and GM provided us with BCBS as a supplement. My benefits included dental, vision and drugs. A good research site is Medicare.gov where you can compare various plans. I've chosen United Health Care's Secure Horizon plan. No additional premium beyond the Medicare premium. It includes prescription drugs, basic dental and vision and has a maximum annual out of pocket of $3350 each. It's a Medicare Advantage plan where you have to go to their doctors. Its a PPO and not an HMO. No referals. Every doctor we've ever been to is part of this plan. Their plan list is the size of a phone book. How all of this works out is an unknown. If I don't like it I can change next year. The Medicare website is very informative.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:43 AM   #12
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Have had GEHA standard/basic for almost 30 years and have had no issues at all with them (and I have lived all over the country). I compare plans every year but have yet to find a better deal (at least for a single person). Coverage is very similar to BCBS but the cost is less with generally lower rate increases (some years there have been no increases).
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