Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado
Reviewed by Christine Corsini – Fact checked by Leslie Jablonski
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado (BCBS of CO) offers a wide variety of major medical health insurance plans, vision and dental, and supplemental insurance plans to Colorado residents.
BCBS of CO plans are available across a wide range of price points. There are many options that are qualified under the Affordable Care Act, offered over the Connect for Health Colorado exchange.
That means that these plans may qualify for subsidies to help make them more affordable, depending on your age and the number of people in your household.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado also offers a number of quality health insurance plans not available on the exchange. These don’t qualify for an “Obamacare” subsidy, but they may be a great fit for people who don’t expect to receive a huge Affordable Care Act subsidy, or who want a plan tailored in a specific way.
Our Personal Benefits Managers at ColoHealth can help you select the best plan whether on or off the Colorado Connect for Health exchange – at no cost to you.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado Plan Tiers
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado plans come in several “tiers,” Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each of them is primarily defined by the percentage of your medical expenses the plan pays after you meet your deductible for the year.
With Bronze plans, you can expect your insurance to pick up 60% of your plan costs after you meet your deductible for the year – up to your maximum out pocket limit under the plan. You pay the remaining 40%, up to your out-of-pocket maximum for the year.
With BCBS Anthem Colorado Silver plans, your plan will pay about 70 percent of your medical costs after your deductible; You would pay the remaining 30%, up until you hit your out-of-pocket limit for the year.
With BCBS Anthem Colorado Gold plans, Anthem will pay 80% of your healthcare costs after you meet your deductible for the year. You would pay the remaining 20%, up to your out-of-pocket limit.
And with Platinum plans, Anthem Colorado would pay 90% of your costs after you meet your deductible for the year: You would pay the remaining 10%, up until you reach your out-of-pocket limit for the year.
While plan out-of-pocket limits can vary, federal law limits out-of-pocket costs to $9,100, as of 2023. That includes your deductible and coinsurance, but not health insurance premiums.
Types of Plans Offered in Colorado
Within each of these BCBS of CO plan tiers, Colorado residents can choose one of three basic plan types: Health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), exclusive provider organizations (EPOs), and point of service (POS) plans:
Anthem BCBS Point of Service Plans (POS)
Point of service plans require a referral from your PCP before seeing a specialist. These plans cover out-of-network doctors at a higher out-of-pocket cost than in-network doctors.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO)
PPOs also utilize a network of providers who agree to provide discounted pricing for plan members, and also assign you a primary care physician to direct your overall health care within the plan.
The primary difference is that PPOs do not require you to get a referral from your primary care doctor before they will cover visits to a specialist.
Most plans will provide some coverage for visits with physicians outside of the network. But you may have to pay a larger share of the bill.
Note that PPO plans are only available for groups, not individuals.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
HMOs typically limit non-emergency coverage to providers within their care network. You’ll be assigned a primary care physician, who will act as the gatekeeper to your plan benefits. HMOs usually require you to get a referral from your primary care physician before they will cover visits to a specialist.
Exclusive Provider Organizations (EPO)
An EPO combines features of HMOs and PPOs. Like PPOs, exclusive provider organizations don’t require you to get a referral from your primary care doctor to see a specialist. However, they provide little or no coverage for non-emergency coverage for out-of-network providers.
Of these plans, HMOs typically have the lowest premiums, all other things being equal. PPOs offer the most flexibility and options within the plan, and provide more protection if you want to see an out-of-network provider.
EPOs are typically in the middle, and have a lower premium compared to PPOs.
High Deductible Health Plans and HSAs
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado offers a number of plans that are qualified as high deductible health plans, or HDHPs. These have lower premiums than other plans, and have higher deductibles.
But they also allow otherwise qualified individuals and families to contribute pre-tax money to a health savings account, or HSA.
HSAs can help you potentially save thousands of dollars in lower premiums, lower income taxes, and lower overall healthcare costs.
Deductions to HSAs are tax deductible for qualified contributors. Assets in the HSA grow tax free, and withdrawals from HSA plans are also tax-free, as long as they’re used to pay qualified healthcare expenses.
Unlike flexible spending accounts (FSAs), there’s no “use it or lose it” provision.
Assets in your HSA plan can help you pay your deductible. They can also give you more flexibility to use an out-of-network provider for your health care, if you prefer.
At age 65, you can withdraw money from HSAs penalty-free for any reason.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado Dental & Vision
BCBS of CO is a long-established provider of both Dental and Vision benefits, and has excellent, competitive options for both types of coverage.
Anthem BCBS’s Vision plan offers access to one of the largest vision care networks in the world, with 40,000 eye doctors in 30,000 locations.
Their dental plan includes 100% coverage for preventive services.
BCBS of CO Telehealth Benefits
BCBS of CO members enjoy 24-hour access to board-certified physicians as needed through the Sydney mobile phone app.
If you have a high-deductible health plan and you haven’t met your deductible, you may have a $39 charge for a telehealth visit.
Members also have unlimited chat messages with physicians, 24/7.
Group Health Insurance for Colorado Small Businesses
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado is very popular among employers in the Rocky Mountain State, and offers a number of flexible solutions for both small and large employers in Colorado.
For assistance with group health plans, including a free plan design consulting session, to request a quote, or to actually roll out a new health care plan for your employees, contact a ColoHealth personal benefits manager today.
You can request a quote for your small group (2 – 30 employees) here.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado FAQs
Can I get an Affordable Care Act subsidy to help me buy a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado plan?
In most cases, yes.
Except for Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans, all the individual and family plans Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado offers over the Colorado Marketplace are potentially eligible for premium tax credit subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
Most people do qualify for at least some ACA subsidy, though not all. The lower your income and the bigger your family, the more likely you are to qualify for a subsidy and the larger your potential subsidy will be.
The amount of any subsidy will depend on your income, family size, and the Affordable Care Act plan you choose.
However, Congress has voted to expand the Affordable Care Act subsidy and the number of families who can qualify for it.
Health insurance may be more affordable than you think.
To find out whether you may qualify for an ACA subsidy, and to learn how affordable health care can be for you and your family, click here, and make an appointment with your ColoHealth Personal Benefits Manager for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Does Anthem BCBS of CO offer health saving accounts?
Yes! Anthem BCBS of CO does offer an HSA-compatible high deductible health plan, or HDHP.
Health savings accounts, or HSAs, are a terrific way to access health care while saving on monthly premiums, taxes, and taking more control of your overall healthcare experience.
You must be enrolled in an HDHP in order to make tax deductible contributions to a health savings account. You must also meet certain other criteria:
- You must be covered by an HSA-compatible high-deductible health plan.
- You must be a U.S. resident, excluding Puerto Rico and American Samoa
- You cannot be covered by any other comprehensive medical plan that is not an HSA-compatible, high deductible health plan.
- You cannot be enrolled in Medicare.
- Your spouse cannot be enrolled in an FSA plan.
- You cannot be claimed as a dependent on another individual’s tax return.
- If you are a veteran, you may not have received veteran’s benefits within the last three months, unless those benefits are related to a service-connected disability.
- You cannot be enrolled in TRICARE – the health plan for active and retired military and their dependents.
At ColoHealth, we’re big believers in the power of health savings accounts, combined with high-deductible health plans.
To learn more, click here, and speak with your Personal Benefits Manager.
Does Anthem BCBS of CO cover prescription drugs?
Yes. All Anthem BCBS of CO plans on the market in Colorado include prescription drug coverage.
Hundreds of generic prescription drugs are available to Anthem BCBS of CO members at no cost. Non-generic and name-brand drugs may vary based on the class of drug or coverage tier.
Does Anthem BCBS of CO offer plans for Medicare beneficiaries?
Yes. Anthem BCBS of CO provides a variety of Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans as well as Medigap plans for those over age 65 or who otherwise qualify for Medicare.
Anthem BCBS of CO also offers Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
To learn more, and for help deciding which plan or combination of plans would be best for you, we recommend visiting MediGap Advisors.
How can I enroll in a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado Health Plan?
For a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado free consultation, analysis, and plan recommendation, or to enroll straight away, contact your ColoHealth Personal Benefits Manager.
You can also run an instant quote, and apply on your own.
Note, you can only sign up during Open Enrollment, November 1 – January 15, unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.
When is the best time to enroll in Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado?
For most people younger than age 65, the time to enroll in an Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Colorado plan is during the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period, which runs from November 15th through January 15th.
Outside of this open enrollment period, you may still be able to enroll if you qualify for a special enrollment period, due to a qualifying life event.
Examples of qualifying life events include loss of existing coverage through no fault of your own, a change in income, birth or adoption of a child, divorce, marriage, and similar occurrences.
For a free, no-obligation consultation, or to see if you are eligible to enroll, click here to make an appointment with your ColoHealth Personal Benefits Manager.
Health Insurance Instant Quote
HEALTH INSURANCE INFORMATION
- Plans approved and authorized under the Affordable Care Act
- Covers Pre-Existing conditions
- Low cost subsidized plans available to those earning
< 400% of the federal poverty level
- Unlimited lifetime benefits
- Available during open enrollment (November 1 – January 15), or if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period
Healthshare Instant Quote
HEALTH COST-SHARING INFORMATION
- Not health insurance, but a way for like-minded individuals to share medical expenses
- Waiting periods on pre-existing conditions
- May exclude sharing for certain conditions or activities
- Enroll any time
- Much lower monthly cost than unsubsidized health insurance
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