Is Blue Cross Health Insurance Worth It? Review (2023)
Did you know that over 30% of medical costs in Canada are not covered by your provincial healthcare? Most families end up paying this out of their pocket leaving them with a huge financial burden. That's why it's essential to have good private health insurance.
Among the popular providers in the country, Blue Cross Health Insurance is one of the options you could consider. But is it the right choice for you?
In this review, we take you through the various plans, coverage, and pros and cons of Blue Cross health insurance, so you can decide if it's best for you. You also get to compare other health insurances and get quotes tailor-made for you using our free comparator.
8 Key Takeaways on Blue Cross Health Insurance
- Blue Cross insures over 7 million Canadians under federal license.
- Multiple plans with health, drug, and dental coverage options.
- Easy-access online portal for benefit information and claim submission.
- Additional services include critical illness and hospital expenses coverage.
- Blue Cross caters to every section including the self-employed, students, and retirees with specialized packages.
- Connected Care platform for online consultations and mental wellness support.
- Dental coverage is available as a standalone or add-on based on location.
- Compare rates and coverage to find the best health insurance plan using HelloSafe comparator.
Our 2023 review on Blue Cross health insurance: Flexible and accessible choice
The Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans is a federation of non-profit insurance providers operating across Canada since 1938. Its members, including Alberta Blue Cross, Quebec Blue Cross, Ontario Blue Cross, Manitoba Blue Cross, Medavie Blue Cross, Pacific Blue Cross, and Saskatchewan Blue Cross, collectively insure over 7 million Canadians under their federally licensed coverage.
Blue Cross Health Insurance in Canada presents a range of medical insurance plans that encompass health benefits, pharmaceutical coverage, and dental care. These plans are tailored to specific regions, with distinctions between, for instance, Ontario Blue Cross and Pacific Blue Cross BC.
Across all Blue Cross regions, online portals facilitate easy management of plans and streamlined claims processing. These plans also offer the flexibility to include optional add-ons, such as critical illness coverage and coverage for hospital expenses.
Blue Cross private health insurance caters to a diverse audience, from individuals without access to private group plans to those seeking additional benefits beyond their employer's or province's healthcare program, like the Ontario Health Insurance Plan.
With Blue Cross, you can personalize your coverage to align with your unique needs, making it suitable for a variety of individuals. Special packages are available, including a self-employed package for freelancers and student health insurance designed for those in higher education or recent graduates.
If you would like to get a Blue Cross health insurance quote that is personalized to your unique needs, you can do so below and get results in a few moments.
Pros of Blue Cross Health Insurance
- Mix and match plans as needed
- Self-service options
- Submit claims online or via app
- Discounts on medical vision care, health products & services via Blue Advantage
- Tailored Wellness Program
Cons of Blue Cross Health Insurance
- Preventive dental care only available with dental add-ons in regions like Ontario, BC
- No standalone dental plans in some regions
You can see how Blue Cross health insurance plans fare against other providers right here using our comparator below. You can compare multiple plans and get free health insurance quotes in seconds.
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What is the cost of Blue Cross health insurance?
Your regional Blue Cross provider will offer you a personalized quote based on your age, lifestyle, health history, and a number of other factors. The premium will be based on your specific profile and needs. A number of factors will determine your Blue Cross personal health insurance rates, including:
- optional extras
- the number of lives on your plan (individual, family, etc.)
- smoker status
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. Take a look at the table below to see some of the variables affecting pricing for a Blue Cross Health Insurance Ontario resident's plan.
|Non-smoker, Ontario*||Basic Plan||Essential Plan||Enhanced Plan|
*This assumes that the purchaser is covered by the Ontario Provincial Health Plan (OHIP)
Before you decide Blue Cross is right for you, it is essential to compare its premiums and coverage with other health insurance in Canada. All you need to do is use our free comparator above and get tailor-made quotes from the best insurance plans that suit your unique budget and needs.
What does Blue Cross health insurance cover?
When you buy Blue Cross Health Insurance Canada 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:
Good to know
All Blue Cross Health Insurance Canada plans allow for the add-on of drug and dental benefits. However, the average cost of Blue Cross health insurance may vary across provinces. For example, Blue Cross Health Insurance bc may be different from Blue Cross Quebec health insurance.
Below we have laid out the coverage based on the level of health insurance plan:
|Vision||$100 every 2 years||$150 every 2 years||$300 every 2 years|
|Semi-Private Hospital Room||No Coverage||No Coverage||100% for 90 days|
|Travel Medical||No Coverage||No Coverage||100% for 30 days|
|Psychologist/Social Worker||$250 per year||$400 per year||$500 per year|
A full list of coverage levels can be found in the Flex Plan documentation below.
A 6-month waiting period applies to all vision care plans.
What types of health insurance does Blue Cross offer?
Blue Cross health insurance packages vary from province to province. However, most 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.
|Accidental Death & Dismemberment||$10,000 & $5,000||$15,000 & $5,000|
|Managing Chronic Disease||$250 / year||$400 / year||$500 / year|
|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|
It is recommended that you compare coverages from the other health insurances and the various add-ons they offer to make sure you pick a plan that's the best fit for you. And for that, you could simply use our free comparator below and get quotes from Canada's best health insurance providers.
Compare The Best Health Insurance Plans and Rates on the market!
Can I get Blue Cross travel health insurance?
When traveling outside your province, provincial medical plans usually do not cover out-of-province emergency medical expenses, which can be financially burdensome. To ensure comprehensive coverage, Blue Cross offers customizable Single-trip Travel Insurance for Canadian Residents.
Here is an overview of the coverage as the specifics change based on your unique needs.
- Emergency Medical Care: Coverage up to $5,000,000 in case of accident or illness.
- Trip Cancellation or Interruption: Covers in case of cancellation, interruption, or unexpected modification of the trip.
- Accidental Death or Dismemberment: Covers up to $300,000 in case of death or loss of use of a limb.
- Baggage coverage: Protection against delays, loss, theft, or damage.
There are also multi-trip travel insurance options. At the same time can also purchase a travel add-on to your health insurance package. This travel insurance add-on typically includes coverage for emergency medical care, hospitalization, medical transportation, and other travel-related emergencies. You could also buy Blue Cross international health insurance as a separate policy for International coverage.
Blue Cross Health insurance for visitors to Canada
Blue Cross offers a Visitors to Canada Travel plan that safeguards foreign visitors, students, immigrants, and workers entering Canada for pleasure, business, or immigration purposes.
When purchased before arrival, coverage starts upon arrival, and if bought within 30 days of arrival, it commences 72 hours after application. The plan also caters to returning Canadians awaiting eligibility for the Government health insurance plan.
Note that the coverages and premiums may slightly change based on the province. For example, Pacific Blue Cross Health Insurance might be different from Blue Cross Health Insurance Ontario.
Good to know
Are Blue Cross and Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Insurance the same? Blue Cross health insurance operates in Canada, providing coverage through independent provincial organizations. Blue Cross Blue Shield operates in the United States, with independently operated companies in each state. Both are not-for-profit entities but serve different regions with distinct health insurance plans.
What does Blue Cross dental insurance cover?
While Canada’s public system covers lots of healthcare needs, access to dental care is rather limited. 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. Further provincial health care like AHCIP or the MSP in BC, do not offer good dental coverage.
A supplemental Blue Cross health and dental insurance plan can help, here is what it 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
Essential plans add:
- Root canals
Enhanced plans add:
- Periodontal Services
- Major dental
- Orthodontics (braces)
|Basic Dental Coverage||60% (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)
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 extends 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.
|Prescription Drugs||Cost of prescription drugs to a higher level than that offered by the healthcare plan|
|Vision||Vision-related healthcare expenses beyond those covered in the healthcare plan|
|Dental||Dental expenses beyond those included in the healthcare plan|
|Out-of-province Medical Care||Provides additional coverage for medical emergencies including heart attacks, stroke, or cancer.|
|Critical Illness||Pays out if you suffer from a permanent disability or are unable to return to work for > 6 months.|
|Short-term Disability||Disability insurance protects your income if an illness or injury keeps you from working|
|Long-term Disability||Pays out if you suffer from a permanent disability or unable to return to work for > 6 months.|
|Life Insurance||Life insurance pays out a sum of money to your beneficiaries if you die|
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-face 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.
|Service||What it offers|
|Online Doctors||Talk to a Canadian doctor directly, day or night, through the Blue Cross app or online|
|Mental Wellness||Get DNA results that will tell you how you will react to specific medicines|
|Personalized Medicine||Get DNA results which will tell you how you will react to specific medicines|
|Diabetes Care Program||Order test strips to your home and develop a personalized healthcare plan with specialists|
|Virtual Physio||Get physiotherapeutic care and advice online|
|Mindfulness||Access training programs and guided meditation sessions|
Some Connected Care services charge a fee.
If you're interested in checking out other providers that have comprehensive online services, you could use our comparator to get details on their policies, and services, and even get quotes. It's completely free-to-use and you get personalised quotes in no time.
Compare The Best Health Insurance Plans and Rates on the market!
How to buy 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.
You will get a Blue Cross health insurance quote based on your unique needs, coverage, add-ons, and health conditions.
Blue Cross health insurance login
Essentially, members can log in into their 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
Customers, both existing and new, 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.
|Ontario Blue Cross Health Insurance||1-800-355-9133||8 a.m. to 8 p.m.|
|Quebec Blue Cross Health Insurance||1-888-588-1212||8 a.m. to 8 p.m.|
|Atlantic Blue Cross Health Insurance||1-888-227-3400||8 a.m. to 8 p.m.|
|Pacific Blue Cross Health Insurance||1-800-667-4511||8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.|
|Saskatchewan Blue Cross Health Insurance||1-800-667-4511||8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.|
|Manitoba Blue Cross Health Insurance||1-800-667-4511||8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.|
|Alberta Blue Cross Health Insurance||1-800-667-4511||6 a.m. to 6 p.m.|
How to file a Blue Cross Health Insurance claim?
To submit a claim, you have three options. Firstly, visit the Blue Cross website specific to your province and access the appropriate claim form based on the reimbursement type, such as dental or extended health benefits.
This is what a Blue Cross Health Insurance Claim Form looks like.
Secondly, you can use the Alberta Blue Cross® member app (or the app for your province) on your iPhone or Android device to easily submit most types of claims.
Lastly, if you prefer mail, send a completed and signed claim form, along with original receipts and supporting documents, to your provincial Blue Cross office for processing.
How to cancel a policy?
To cancel your policy, you will have to fill up a cancellation request form and send it to your respective provincial Blue Cross departments. The forms may vary for every province. Here is the form for Pacific Blue Cross (for British Columbia).
Alternatively, you can call and speak to a member of the public services team at 1-800-355-9133 to begin the process of canceling your insurance.