Blue Cross Blue Shield: Our Nationwide In-Network Partner

Home » Mental Health Blog » Blue Cross Blue Shield: Our Nationwide In-Network Partner

Blue Cross Blue Shield logo

Are you an expert when it comes to health insurance? Do you understand the ins and outs of what is covered, who is covering it and where you can obtain help? If you’re like the majority of Americans, chances are you don’t feel confident in your understanding of the insurance system. That’s why, when we proudly announce that we are an in-network mental health provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield, too many people may not understand what this involves.

SoCal Empowered is an in-network mental health provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield, which means that people across the United States now have a leg up when it comes to working with us on their mental health needs. However, given the confusion that always exists with the American public in this regard, we are going to provide an explainer below on how this works for you and any loved ones on your Blue Cross Blue Shield policy. We’ll do so in the form of common questions and answers, also known as FAQs.

How Many People Have Blue Cross Blue Shield Policies?

According to the Blue Cross Blue Shield website, approximately 115 million people in the United States are members of the Blue Cross Blue Shield policyholder community. In addition, more than 1.7 million medical facilities and doctors contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield companies, more than any other insurance carrier.

What Do You Mean by “Companies” of Blue Cross Blue Shield?

When we talk about “companies” that are part of Blue Cross Blue Shield, we’re talking about independent, community-based and locally operated entities that are part of the overall Blue Cross Blue Shield network. As of now, there are 34 of these entities that operate in all 50 states in the United States as well as in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. If you’d like to see where yours fits, click here for a list of Blue Cross Blue Shield companies.

What is Blue Cross?

Blue Cross Blue Shield was not always one entity, as they began separately. Blue Cross is an association of independent insurance companies that primarily focuses on hospital services. It was founded in 1929 by Justin Ford Kimball, a vice president of Baylor University in Dallas, Texas. The purpose of Blue Cross was to provide prepaid hospital coverage to teachers in the Dallas area. Over time, Blue Cross expanded its coverage and became a well-known brand in the health insurance industry.

Today, Blue Cross offers a wide range of health insurance plans that cover hospital stays, surgeries, and other inpatient services. They work with a network of hospitals and healthcare providers to negotiate discounted rates for their members. This allows individuals with Blue Cross coverage to receive the care they need at a more affordable price.

What Is Blue Shield?

Blue Shield is another association of independent insurance companies that focuses on physician and outpatient services. It was founded in 1939 by a group of physicians in California who wanted to provide affordable healthcare coverage to their patients. Blue Shield quickly grew in popularity and expanded its coverage to other states.

Unlike Blue Cross, which primarily deals with hospital services, Blue Shield works with a network of physicians, specialists, and outpatient facilities to provide comprehensive healthcare coverage. Their plans often include services such as doctor visits, laboratory tests, preventive care, and outpatient surgeries.

How Are Blue Cross and Blue Shield Different?

The main difference between Blue Cross and Blue Shield lies in the services they cover. Blue Cross primarily focuses on hospital services, while Blue Shield concentrates on physician and outpatient services.

Another difference between the two carriers is their network of healthcare providers. Blue Cross works with a network of hospitals, while Blue Shield collaborates with physicians, specialists, and outpatient facilities. This means that the availability of healthcare providers may vary depending on the plan you choose.

Is BCBSA One Company?

They are now. Until 1982, the two entities were separate, but they merged that year to form what is now formally known as the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, or BCBSA. This umbrella association consists of the 34 regional, statewide and local organizations that are members.

Which BCBSA Member Is Mine?

This is where it can become complicated for people who are not in the health insurance industry, and even for many who are, as the BCBSA member associations have different names and distinct logos. They also serve different geographic locations.

We are going to publish a more extensive guide for these member associations soon, but in the meantime, if you’re wondering which Blue Cross Blue Shield association applies to you, click on this link below and choose your state:

BCBSA Members By State

That will provide you with the name of your association and a link to its website.

For example, SoCal Empowered, through its locations in Orange County, California, is an in-network mental health provider for Anthem Insurance and Blue Shield of California. As said, though, we are an in-network provider for every member of the BCBSA across the United States.

Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Mental Health?

Every individual health insurance policy is different of course, but overall most Blue Cross Blue Shield policies offer some level of coverage for mental health services. Our team of Orange County mental health professionals has covered this complex topic before, so below you’ll find some links that may help you understand a few of the nuances of the health insurance system and how it applies to working with us:

An Overview of How Mental Health Insurance Benefits Work

Why You Should Use Your Mental Health Insurance Benefits

Mental Health Insurance Coverage Rights and Options

Update: Forbes Publishes Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance Review 2023

Consumers not only tend to struggle with the nomenclature and protocols associated with health insurance, but they also tend to have a hard time with understanding how certain providers stack up against others. If you follow advertising campaigns, then obviously every insurance company is the best on the market. If you read online complaints, then every insurance company is the opposite.

So where does one turn to obtain an objective look at how a health insurance provider compares to others based on available data?

One resource is Forbes Magazine. Forbes publishes a plethora of reviews and online resources designed to provide readers with that all-important objective view of health insurance companies and organizations in other industries.

Forbes’ review of Blue Cross Blue Shield appears right here, and it provides a wide array of data designed to help people obtain some perspective on what they are getting when they become Blue Cross Blue Shield members, regardless of where they live or which of the Blue Cross Blue Shield companies services their policy.

We encourage you to take a look at it if you’d like to learn more about how Blue Cross Blue Shield fits into the overall world of health insurance.

Contact SoCal Empowered Today

If you’re confused about whether or not your mental health insurance can help you work with us, how your Blue Cross Blue Shield policy applies to a stay here or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. We will listen to your situation, work to explain how our status with Blue Cross Blue Shield works and if necessary and with your permission, we’ll even speak to BCBS directly to help you define coverage before you make any commitments to staying with us. We are standing by, ready to help you understand how to get the help you or a loved one needs. Contact us today.

You May Also Like…