Blue Cross Health Insurance Review (Updated 2022

Did you know that in Canada, families spend an average of $4,000 a year on private health insurance? Canada’s universal care, while excellent, is not comprehensive. Emergency and preventive care are largely covered, but knowing what is not covered is critical to planning for the worst. Around 30% of health expenditures in Canada are privately financed by supplemental insurance (group or individual) or by patients themselves out-of-pocket. This includes dental and vision care and access to prescription medications. 

In this review we will lay out the advantages and disadvantages of owning a Blue Cross health insurance policy, we take you through what it covers, what add-ons there are and how to apply for Blue Cross health insurance.

Our Blue Cross health insurance review: the most flexible choice

Blue Cross offers several plans that can include health benefits, drug, and dental coverage for you to choose from depending on what your health insurance needs are. Blue Cross provides an easy-access online portal which includes easy access to your benefit information and allows you to submit a claim online. Their plans allow for the optional add-ons of services such as critical illness coverage and hospital expenses. 

Blue Cross private health insurance is intended for people who do not have access to a private group insurance plan, or if they would like additional benefits not offered by their employer’s or province’s health and drug coverage such as dental or medication-only coverage. For freelancers, there is the Blue Cross health insurance self-employed package. Blue Cross student health insurance is an affordable package for those in higher education or those who have recently graduated.

Pros

  • Named Canada's most respected health insurance company in 2022 by the Most Respected Award Program
  • Connected Care digital health platform
  • Self-service options
  • Submit claims online or via the app
  • Mix and match plans as needed

Cons

  • Some Blue Cross Canada health insurance reviews have criticized the customer service
  • Dental coverage is limited
  • Only available to Canadian citizens

Before signing up for a health insurance plan with Blue Cross, compare rates and coverage offerings from the best health and dental plans using our comparison tool.

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What is the cost of Blue Cross health insurance?

Your regional Blue Cross insurance provider will offer you a personalized quote based on your age, lifestyle, health history and a number of other factors. Your premium will be based on your specific profile and needs. A number of factors will determine your Blue Cross health insurance rates, including:

  • age
  • gender
  • optional extras
  • the number of lives on your plan (individual, family, etc.)
  • smoker status
  • lifestyle

To make sure you are getting the best plan for the best price, you must first establish what you want from your health insurance policy. 

The price of health insurance varies greatly between insurers. Your health history, age, the coverage options offered, your province, and more affect pricing. Use our comparison tool to get personalized health insurance quotes, all anonymously.

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What does Blue Cross health insurance cover?

When you buy Blue Cross health insurance you can choose between specific packages aimed at different groups, these are:

  • Self-employed health insurance
  • Small business employees' health insurance
  • People without access to group benefits health insurance
  • Student health insurance
  • Retiree health insurance
  • Recent immigrant health insurance

For these different groups, Blue Cross offers three different levels of health insurance to choose from depending on your medical needs:

  • Entry
  • Essential 
  • Enhanced 

Good to know

All Blue Cross health insurance plans allow for the add-on of drug and dental benefits.

Below we have laid out the amounts of coverage based on the level of health insurance plan:

TreatmentEntryEssentialEnhanced
Coverage60%70% 80%
AmbulanceNo Coverage$420$420
Vision $100 every 2 years $150 every 2 years $300 every 2 years 
Semi-Private Hospital Room No CoverageNo Coverage100% for 90 days
Travel Medical No CoverageNo Coverage100% for 30 days
Psychologist/Social Worker$250 per year$400 per year$500 per year
Blue Cross health insurance Canada

A full list of coverage levels can be found in the Flex Plan documentation below.

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Watch out!

A 6-month waiting period applies to all vision care plans.

Interest in a healthcare plan with more comprehensive coverage?

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What types of health insurance does Blue Cross offer?

Blue Cross health insurance packages vary from province to province. However, all Blue Cross health insurance packages offer three levels of coverage. Below we have laid out the levels of coverage offered by Ontario Blue Cross to give you an example of how coverage differs between different levels of insurance. Other provinces will differ in detail.

PolicyEntryEssentialEnhanced
Coverage60%70%80%
Accidental Death & Dismemberment $10,000 & $5,000$15,000 & $5,000
Ambulance $420$420
Managing Chronic Disease$250 / year$400 / year$500 / year
Diabetic supplies
Hearing Aids/Repairs $400 / 5 years$500 / 5 years
Nursing Care $3,500 / 2 years$5,600 / 2 years
Physiotherapist$250 / year$400 / year$500 / year
Travel 100% / 30 days
Vision Care$100 / 2 years$150 / 2 years$300 / 2 years
Blue Cross health insurance coverage

What does Blue Cross dental insurance cover?

While Canada’s public system covers lots of healthcare needs, access to dental care is not included. Dental care is important to one’s overall health. Since it can be a major expense, too many people skip preventive treatment. That is a mistake, as regular preventive care helps prevent gum disease, which is linked to conditions like heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, it can help you to detect other medical complications early.

A supplemental insurance plan can help, here is what Blue Cross offers. 

Blue Cross allows you to add dental insurance to your Elements plan. It’s important to know what coverage each plan has.

Entry plans include:

  • Dental maintenance
  • Exams
  • Cleaning
  • X-rays
  • Fillings

Essential plans add:

  • Extractions
  • Root canals

Enhanced plans add:

  • Periodontal Services
  • Major dental 
  • Orthodontics (braces)
TreatmentEntryEssentialEnhanced
Basic Dental Coverage60% (up to $500 per year)70% 80%
Dental Exam & Cleaning (Entry: 3-month waiting period; Essential and Enhanced: 6-month waiting period)
X-rays (Entry: 3-month waiting period; Essential and Enhanced: 6-month waiting period)
Fillings (Entry: 3-month waiting period; Essential and Enhanced: 6-month waiting period)
Extractions (6-month waiting period)
Root Canals (6-month waiting period)
Periodontal Services Coverage (24-month waiting period) 60%
(up to $1,200 per year)
Major Dental Coverage (24-month waiting period) 60%
(up to $500 per year)
Orthodontics Coverage (age 18 and under; 24-month waiting period) 60%
(up to $1,500 lifetime)
Blue Cross dental insurance coverage

Interested in more comprehensive dental cover. Take a look at our guide to dental insurance and find a plan that offers wider coverage.

What extras does Blue Cross health insurance offer?

You can add extra coverage onto your Blue Cross health insurance plan which increases coverage levels or extend your protections. For example, if you travel a lot by car for business and are always moving around Canada, you might want to consider the Out-of-province Medical Care add-on, which will make sure you are protected even if you have an accident away from home.

Extra CoverageProtection
Prescription DrugsThis covers the cost of prescription drugs to a higher level than that offered by the healthcare plan.
VisionThis covers vision-related healthcare expenses beyond those covered in the healthcare plan
DentalThis covers dental expenses beyond those included in the healthcare plan.
Out-of-province Medical CareThis covers medical expenses that you get if you are in an accident or fall ill while travelling outside your home province.
Critical IllnessCritical illness insurance provides additional coverage for medical emergencies including heart attacks, stroke or cancer. 
Short-term DisabilityDisability insurance is a type of insurance that protects your income if an illness or injury keeps you from working.
Long-term DisabilityLong-term disability pays out if you suffer from a permanent disability or are unable to return to work for more than 6 months.
Life InsuranceLife insurance pays out a sum of money to your beneficiaries if you die.
How to get Blue Cross health insurance

Good to know

If you bundle your bundle health insurance with disability insurance, long-term disability insurance, critical illness or life insurance you will be able to save money.

What is the Connected Care digital health platform?

The Connected Care platform is a new offering from Blue Cross that allows you to organize your healthcare and connect with medical professionals online, either via the Blue Cross app or online, through their website. The platform is not intended to replace face-to-cafe consultations but offers a way to seek advice or guidance from the comfort of your own home or on the move.

In the table below you can find the online services that the Connected Care platform offers and how they work.

ServiceWhat it offers
Online DoctorsTalk to a Canadian doctor directly, day or night, through the Blue Cross app or online
Mental WellnessUse the app, website or your phone (SMS) to connect with a licensed therapist
Personalized MedicineGet DNA results which will tell you how you will react to specific medicines
Diabetes Care ProgramOrder test strips to your home and develop a personalized healthcare plan with specialists
Virtual PhysioGet physiotherapeutic care and advice online
MindfulnessAccess training programs and guided meditation sessions
Blue Cross Connected Care

Watch out!

Some Connected Care services charge a fee.

Interested in a health care plan with free online resources? Check out our comparison tool and see what other providers have to offer.

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Canada's best health insurance plans

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How to get Blue Cross health insurance?

To purchase Blue Cross health insurance you can head to the Blue Cross website homepage and select your province. Once you have accessed your provincial Blue Cross insurance provider you can select Health Insurance, choose the package you want and the level of protection and schedule a call with a representative to discuss your specific needs and medical history.

Blue Cross health insurance login

Blue cross health insurance login.
Blue Cross Member Services

You can login into your Blue Cross account on the website. As you can see in the picture above you will need your email and password. If it is your first time setting up an account, you will need to provide your policy number, You can find your policy number on your Blue Cross health insurance card.

Blue Cross health insurance app

Blue Cross offers a mobile app that you can use to keep track of payments and appointments. You can also use the Connected Care online services through it. You can download the app through Google Play or the Apple app store.

Blue Cross health insurance customer service

You can reach customer service by calling the Blue Cross health insurance phone number. The number varies depending on your region. We have set out the contact number by region below. Lines are open Monday to Friday but the hours vary depending on location.

RegionContact NumberHours
Ontario Blue Cross Health Insurance1-800-355-91338 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Quebec Blue Cross Health Insurance1-888-588-12128 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Atlantic Blue Cross Health Insurance1-888-227-34008 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Pacific Blue Cross Health Insurance1-800-667-45118 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saskatchewan Blue Cross Health Insurance1-800-667-45118:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Manitoba Blue Cross Health Insurance1-800-667-45118 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Alberta Blue Cross Health Insurance1-800-667-45116 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Blue Cross Health Insurance contact information

How to cancel health insurance Blue Cross?

You can contact Blue Cross by filling out a form on their website to find out how to how to cancel Blue Cross health insurance. You will need your email address, your postal address and your policy number.

Alternatively, you can call and speak to a member of the public services team at 1-800-355-9133 to begin the process of cancelling your insurance.

Can I get  Blue Cross travel health insurance?

You will have to check your specific plan to know if travel insurance is included. Travel insurance is particularly important in Canada because provincial health insurance plans cover less once you are out of your home province. This means expenses can quickly escalate out of control if you become unwell or suffer an accident while travelling. If you are travelling abroad then you may not have any access to any health care services at all without having an insurance plan in place. In some countries, such as the USA, you will have to pay upfront for any medical treatment that you need.

You can either purchase a travel add-on to your health insurance package or buy Blue Cross international health insurance as a separate policy. If you are a resident of another country who wants to buy health insurance in Canada, you can buy Blue Cross Health Insurance for Visitors to Canada.

Good to know

Travelling without proper health coverage can be an expensive mistake. Read HelloSafe's travel insurance guide to learn more.

What are the best alternatives to Blue Cross health insurance?

In order to help you compare health insurance deals, we have included a quick summary of competitors below.

Our CAA health insurance review: the best bundling discounts

The CAA, or the Canadian Automobile Associate, was founded more than 115 years ago. It is one of the largest not-for-profit automobile associations in Canada. It has been helping Canadians with a wide variety of products related to automobile services, but also offers insurance packages, including private health insurance. CAA health insurance has partnered with Manulife for over 20 years, allowing them to offer pre-packaged plans mix and match plans tailored to your specific health needs. 

They have a 30-day guarantee where if you are not satisfied with the coverage you purchased, you may request a refund within 30 days of receiving your policy. CAA health insurance is a choice for you if you do not have health benefits through your employer, you are losing your group coverage, or if you would like to mix and match prescription and dental coverage. Note that you must have provincial or territorial health and drug coverage to apply for personal health insurance

Pros

  • Ability to mix and match plans
  • Discounts are available when you bundle health and dental

Cons

  • No online claims submission 
  • Some CAA health insurance reviews have cited long wait times for dental treatment

Our Canada Life health insurance review: the best guaranteed policies

Canada Life offers a variety of levels of health insurance, all with differing levels of coverage which are designed to suit your needs, including prescription drugs, dental care, vision care and more.

They have comprehensive optional add-ons for you to further personalize your health plan. They also offer a ten-day look-and-see period. You can cancel your policy with no penalty during the first ten days.

Canada Life health insurance is a choice for you if you do not have health benefits through your employer, you are losing your group coverage, or if you would like additional benefits not offered by your employer’s or province’s health and drug coverage. Note that you must have provincial or territorial health and drug coverage to apply for personal health insurance.

Pros

  • Multiple plans that offer guaranteed acceptance
  • Quick and easy online quote and application
  • Comprehensive optional coverage add-ons

Cons

  • Travel medical insurance is not automatically included in their plans (it is an optional add-on)
  • Some Canada Life health insurance reviews have noted long callback times

Our Desjardins health insurance review: the most inclusive choice

Desjardins is a leading provider of insurance in Canada. Desjardins health insurance can be bundled with other insurance policies in order to save money. Compared to competitors, Desjardins premiums are slightly higher however they offer a wider range of coverages. That said, in some ways the company is behind some of its competitors as it does not offer the ability to sign up for a policy online.

Pros

  • Dental, medical, vision and travel insurance included in the standard plan
  • Online health platform and 24/7 telephones assistance
  • High maximum coverage limits
  • Enhanced hospital care

Cons

  • A policy can only be issued on the 1st or 15th of the month
  • Some Desjardins reviews critique the lack of online sign-up
  • Plans not available after 70 years old

Our GMS health insurance review: the best online option

GMS health insurance offers plans ranging from basic coverage to comprehensive, all of which have the option to add dental benefits and/or drug benefits. With GMS, you will be able to tailor a plan to fit your health needs. 

They have a comprehensive online portal, My GMS, which allows for easy access to your benefit information and the ability to submit a claim online. Their travel insurance for certain plans automatically adds COVID treatment coverage.

GMS health insurance is a choice for you if you do not have health benefits through your employer, starting your own business, or if you would like additional benefits not offered by your employer’s or province’s health and drug coverage.

Pros

  • My GMS portal access
  • Submit a claim online or via the app
  • Counselling and speech therapy is covered in some plans

Cons

  • Some GMS health insurance reviews have criticized the limited dental plan
  • Some GMS health insurance coverage reviews have noted that hospital benefits are not automatically included
  • Vision and travellers insurance are not included in the Basic plan

Make sure you find the right health insurance for you.

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Canada's best health insurance plans

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8 comments
Svenja hudson
on 2022-11-20

My husband, 65, and me, 61, need a health insurance plan. Where do I get it? Thanks

Annabelle Annabelle
on 2022-11-21

Hello,

We suggest you to try our health insurance plan comparator to find out which plan suits your healthcare needs, and your husband's, best.

Have a nice day,

The Hellosafe Team

Rick
on 2022-07-13

I'm 65 years old and I'm looking for health insurance for 6months when I go abroad ,how much would it cost

James rodriguez James rodriguez
on 2022-07-14

Hi Rick,
If you are looking for health coverage while being abroad for a trip, you might want to consider travel insurance. You can check out our comparator tool to see some of the best offers in Canada.

Have a nice day,
The HelloSafe team

Andrew youn
on 2022-03-10

When is the dental plan effective date after purchase? I am trying to get my dentist appointment completed as soon as possible, and need to use the insurance I’m signing up for.

Thanks and take care.

James rodriguez James rodriguez
on 2022-03-11

Hi Andrew,
I would advise looking at your insurance contract. This kind of information should be on it.

Have a nice day,
The HelloSafe team

Pat reid
on 2022-02-22

My husband and I are wanting to find out the cost of the Essential Dental plan and the cost of Extended Health with Blue Cross. My husband is 79 years old and I am 69 years old. Could you also inform us what these plans include.
Thank you in advance for all your help.

James rodriguez James rodriguez
on 2022-02-24

Hi Pat,
You can consult the general conditions of the plan for further information. You can find documentation higher on this page as well as on the Blue Cross website.

Have a nice day,
The HelloSafe team