Anthem vs. Blue Cross Blue Shield

In this article...
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield is part of the Anthem family of brands. While the two brands are related, they sell different Medicare plans in different areas. In our review, we outline which types of plans may offer the benefits you need and compare Anthem vs. BCBS so you can get a better idea of how to find the right plan for you.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is part of the Anthem family of brands. The Anthem brand name itself will soon change to Elevance Health.

What Is Anthem and How Is It Different From Blue Cross Blue Shield?

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield operates in the following states:

  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Ohio
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Wellpoint (formerly Amerigroup) is the Anthem brand that operates in:

  • Arizona
  • Iowa
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington

Other Anthem brands include Simply (Florida), Healthy Blue (Louisiana), BCBS of NC (North Carolina) and Empire Blue Cross (New York and California).

Anthem offers a wide range of health insurance products, such as individual and family plans, standalone dental and vision policies, Medicare plans and supplemental insurance like accident, critical illness and hospital recovery coverage. Anthem dental insurance is a great benefit of getting a plan with this carrier.

Anthem is one of the largest health insurers in the U.S., partly through its various affiliates like Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Anthem provides a number of helpful tools and resources for its members, including 24-hour telehealth, a medication coverage lookup tool and health care provider finder. Anthem also offers a mobile app for more seamless access to plan information and customer support features including dedicated phone numbers for each product type and live online chat for members.

Blue Cross Blue Shield is a brand name that includes 34 independent and locally operated companies that do business under various names in each state in which they operate (for example, Blue Cross Blue Shield Illinois). 

Blue Cross Blue Shield offers a variety of insurance policies in some areas, including individual and family health insurance plans, dental, vision and Medicare Advantage policies. 

Like Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield provides several tools and resources for its members but takes it all a step further with the Blue365 program that offers discounts for products and services related to fitness, eating, personal care, lifestyle and financial health. A mobile app makes it easy to access benefit information, but the customer support portal is far less user-friendly than Anthem and lacks an online chat service.

Because Anthem subsidiaries are found in every state, it’s easy to see why there are so many health care providers who are part of these plan networks. 

Have Medicare questions?

Talk to a licensed agent today to find a plan that fits your needs.

How to Enroll in an Anthem or Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Plan

Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield are trusted health insurance companies that offer quality coverage to millions of satisfied customers, and it’s hard to go wrong with either carrier.

Your first step in finding the right plan for you is to compare the Medicare plans that are available where you live. Working with a licensed insurance agent allows you to compare Medicare Advantage plans so that you can find the Medicare plan with the right price, the right benefits and the right coverage for your needs. 

Is Anthem the Same as Blue Cross Blue Shield?

No, BCBS is part of the Anthem family of brands, but the two entities each sell health insurance in different areas of the country.

As Anthem holds licenses with Blue Cross Blue Shield, it exclusively provides its range of health insurance brands in specific states—California, New York, and numerous others.

Should you reside outside these states covered by Anthem, it's advisable to explore the options offered by your local Blue Cross Blue Shield regional company.

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