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Old 10-14-2013, 12:27 AM   #41
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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Originally Posted by NoMoreJob View Post
I think this all (network access, plan option, plan names, etc.) is dependent on the company selling the plans. BCBS is an association of independent entities all accessing the same networks (or parts of them) so although there is commonality there are also many differences. .....

So what one of us finds out about their BCBS options may be different elsewhere. In my experience it's best to ask questions directly to the insurance company you may be dealing with.
Outstanding point about BCBS being an association of affiliates rather than a single entity, and that networks may vary substantially between BCBS plans even in same state/region. Since HI issues are of critical import, I would suggest that any questions be asking & answered IN WRITING.

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Old 10-14-2013, 12:36 PM   #42
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It appears that those on here that have inquired into BCBS MSP are PPO plans. In my state it is an HMO. In fact there are no PPO's in my state available on the exchange at all (Nevada). They appear to all be HMO. The one multi state plan we have here is the most expensive plan on the exchange by a considerable amount, but when I go on line to look at hospitals for this plan, it lists only one University Hospital, which is hard to believe. I know I have to call agent.

Are any of your BCBS Multi State Plans HMO's?

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Old 10-15-2013, 03:48 AM   #43
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I had BCBS of California when I was pregnant and moved to Hawaii. They had something called a travel plan or something like that. It allowed me to become a 'visiting member' of BCBS in Hawaii. I filled out a form and saw doctor's here but the California insurance covered the bills. It worked out fine with a few billing glitches that required a phone call or two to fix, but I didn't get stuck with any bills.
Quite a few people live in more than one state so it's not like this issue hasn't come up before. It's so frustrating to not be able to find the person who has the right answer.
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Old 12-01-2013, 10:08 PM   #44
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I'm coming to this thread rather late but it sounds like you've figured out that multi-state / nationwide is not necessary for somebody that travels periodically or even many months of the year.

MichaelB had a link to multi-state in another thread and it cleared up the issue for me.

However, this subject does bring up a related point. Individual policies purchased in 2013 and earlier generally have lower premiums, broader provider networks and better (lower) OOP amounts when compared to PPACA plans. There are the obvious problems of pre-existing conditions if that applies to your situation but it did not affect us.

When DW and I FIREd two years ago we bought an individual policy from United Health Care. There were similar policies from Humana, BCBS and others but we chose UNH since our employer plan was with them and we felt like we received good service.

In researching PPACA plans I've found the unsubsidized premiums will be approximately $200 more than we currently pay. The subsidy will be about $100 per month for our income level. Coincidentally, we currently receive a $100 per month tax deduction every year for buying our own insurance. So in my mind, trading the subsidy for the tax deduction is a wash. The PPACA plan similar to ours has a larger OOP amount and it has less network coverage. What gives? I'm paying more for less in my mind.

I say all this because it's possible to still buy individual plans on the open marketplace until the end of December 2013. My understanding is that these individual plans (if chosen wisely) can be continued for many years to come as long as the premiums are paid on time. At least that's what I've been told in the letter I received from UNH for our policy.

Consequently, individuals without pre-existing conditions, and those who qualify for little or no subsidy, might be better off buying from an agent, directly from the insurer web site, or through and they may end up with a broader network and lower OOP.

Yes, every situation is different. Due diligence is required.

In a year or two, after the PPACA dust settles the situation may be different. For now I'm happy to have a robust, HDHP w/HSA.

Dreamin' of Streamin'
FIRE'd at 52 on 7/8/11
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