Neither Blue Cross nor Blue Shield are “Insurance Companies”, but insurance companies license to do business under those names. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association may license one insurance company under the Blue Cross name and another insurance company under the Blue Shield name. In many states, the same insurance company secures the licensing right to use both marketing names, but in California, this is not the case.
Until recently, Blue Cross in California was known as Blue Cross of California. Recently, their parent (WellPoint) changed their name to Anthem Blue Cross – to more closely match the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield name they use in some neighboring states.
However, Blue Shield of California is a different company not owned by WellPoint.
Which company is better?
It all depends on what type of plan you wish to have, and your age and gender. One company will be better for one, while the other is better for another. Blue Shield of California has a high rating from the independent insurance-rating service “A.M. Best“.
If you are young, you may like the Tonik plans from Blue Cross. They are pretty straight-forward plans, and simple to apply for.
I still strongly recommend – to my clients who will make best use of them – an H.S.A. (Health Savings Account) Qualified Plan. And I have several companies, including Blue Shield and Blue Cross who write these plans. I also offer the Farm Bureau Plans from Health Net. Sometimes … they prove to be the best.
I offer links to all these sites here, or if you prefer – email or give me a call, I’ll be happy to send back a report comparing them for you.