BCBS of Michigan ranks for customer satisfaction and No. 6 on Insure.com’s 2023 Best Health Insurance Companies list – earning 3.5 stars out of 5.
John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.
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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan ranks highly as a good all-around health insurance provider. While it wasn’t singled out in any one particular category for being the best among its top competitors, BCBS of Michigan did perform well overall.
It received a strong 4 out of 5 stars from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. NCQA evaluates healthcare plans on, among other things, member satisfaction. It also finished in the top half among insurers we rated for customer satisfaction.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan ranked sixth overall in Insure.com’s list of the Best Health Insurance of Companies for 2023.
However, it’s largely limited to residents in the State of Michigan or employees with companies that are headquartered there.
AM Best's Financial Strength Rating is an independent opinion of an insurer's financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations.
Below is Insure.com’s review of the company. It’s based on third-party metrics and our in-depth survey of insurance customers. Find the full methodology here, including an explanation of our survey scores.
While the company scored well in other areas, it placed in the bottom half of the companies we ranked for affordability.
Our survey found that 89% of BCBS of Michigan’s customers think it does a good job at achieving high customer satisfaction, placing it among the top insurers in our survey. It wasn’t far behind the category leader, Kaiser Permanente, which achieved high customer satisfaction marks from 93% of customers.
It also scored well against other insurers when looking at average J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study scores, which measure health plans for overall customer satisfaction.
BCBS of Michigan has an excellent track record of handling complaints before they escalate. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) compares major providers on how many complaints are filed with state regulators. If a provider has a rate equal to its customer base, it receives a 1.00 score. If it has twice as many complaints as its share of business, it gets a 2.0. BCBS of Michigan had a score of 0.37, meaning it had a small number of complaints filed compared to its market share.
The poll found that 84% of customers surveyed would recommend BCBS of Michigan to others. This was a somewhat unusual finding, as companies with high customer satisfaction marks usually do similarly well in this category. Kaiser led this category, with 96% of its customers saying they’d recommend it.
The majority of its customers do believe BCBS of Michigan is worthy of their trust. While it placed in the middle of the pack in our survey, the 74% approval rating was fairly high. Kaiser Permanente led the survey at 87%.
When customers were asked if they planned to renew with BCBS of Michigan, 84% said they would. While good, that was among the lower scores in our survey.
BCBS of Michigan customers are satisfied with the policies offered. Blue Shield of California and Kaiser led this category.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s roots date back to 1938 when the Michigan Society for Group Hospitalization and a doctors’ organization, Michigan Medical Service, were formed. The two groups worked together to work on bills to regulate prepaid health care plans and support nonprofit hospitals.
By 1940 the Michigan Society for Group Hospitalization had more than 175,000 members from some 350 employers. That same year the Society and the Medical Service changed their names to Michigan Blue Cross and Michigan Blue Shield.
In 1966 Michigan Blue Cross and Michigan Blue shield began administering Medicare in the state. It has continued to grow ever since.
The non-profit company now ranks as the largest health insurer in the state, serving 4.5 million people and 1.6 million in other states working for companies headquartered in Michigan. Its provider network includes more than 33,000 doctors and 152 hospitals.
It has a strong record for supporting its communities and has committed to pay $1.56 billion to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund through 2031. The fund aims to improve health care, access, cost and quality of care and the health and wellness of children and seniors throughout the state.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.” Accessed December 2022.
Insure.com in the fall of 2022 surveyed more than 1,500 insurance consumers (775 people with health insurance). The survey was conducted by online market research company Slice MR.
Respondents were asked to name their insurer and then grade it in the following categories – customer satisfaction, ease of service and policy offerings. The percentage of respondents who said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their insurer is presented in the results.
Survey score calculation: Respondents were then asked to rank their insurer’s top three attributes out of more than a dozen presented – such as its provider network. For a number one choice, five points were given; for a second choice, three points; and for a third choice, a single point. The total points for each choice – first, second and third – were then divided by the number of each company’s customers who responded to that survey question to create a percentage. Those percentages are presented in the results as scores.
Respondents were then asked if they would recommend their insurer to someone else and if they planned to renew their policies. The percentage who said yes is presented in the results.
They also were given the statement “I trust my insurance company” and asked if they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. The percentage of those who said they agreed or strongly agreed is presented in the results.
The editors compiled the survey results and then selected – based on the number of survey responses – the top companies for further evaluation. Insure.com needed 20 or more of a company’s customers to respond to the survey for that insurer to be included in the ranking, although in some categories the editors did consider companies with 18 or 19 responses.
They then collected AM Best financial stability ratings and National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) ratings, which evaluate health plans on, among other things, member satisfaction.
With the help of Prof. David Marlett, Ph.D., managing director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center at Appalachian State University, the editors created a rating system to determine which insurance companies were best in each sector. For health insurers, we used the following weights to calculate the overall score for each company:
Each insurer was awarded from 1 to 5 stars. No insurer in our star ranking received less than 1 star and the highest possible ranking is 5 stars.