08 Nov 2015

What we love/hate in 2016…about Anthem Blue Cross

08 Nov 2015

This is the first in series of posts to help clients understand the differences between the carriers and plans, and to make the best plan choice for their family in 2016. Maybe “like” and “dislike” are better categories, but what is the Internet for, if not strong opinions?

Anthem can be frustrating at times, but we like some of the things they are doing in 2016.

Love

  • Tele-health options with LiveHealth Online – all doctors with LiveHealth online are in Anthem’s PPO network. If your plan has a low copay for office visits, you will get the tele-health consultation for that copay. If you have a high copay, or an HSA-compatible plan, it is still just $49.
  • Eliminating their EPO network statewide, and replacing with a full PPO. Now traveling outside of CA gets you access to the national BlueCard PPO for easy access to providers in non-emergencies.
  • Rates. Anthem’s Bronze 60 HSA-compatible plan is the lowest cost non-Kaiser option in many counties.

Hate

  • In counties where the EPO network was eliminated, Anthem’s plans were replaced with a”Tiered PPO.” The “tiers” refer to hospitals – you will pay much more out of pocket for anything other than a Tier 1 hospital.
  • Without Sutter Health or Stanford Health in-network, northern California clients must be comfortable with alternate provider options. On a related note, Anthem’s provider search is not the easiest to navigate.

Ready to apply for a 2016 Anthem plan? Start here.

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