Best Health Insurance Companies

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan health insurance review and ratings 2023

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.

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Our take

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.

bcbs of michigan
BCBS of Michigan Ratings
Overall Rating: 3.5
Price/Affordability: 3.3
NCQA: 4.00
Customer Satisfaction: 4.5
AM Best Rating: A

Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • It received high marks from the NCQA
  • It has a low level of complaints
  • It ranked in the top half of the list for customer satisfaction
Cons:
  • It wasn’t as likely to be recommended to others
  • Only available to Michigan residents or employees with companies headquartered there

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.

How much does BCBS of Michigan insurance cost?

While the company scored well in other areas, it placed in the bottom half of the companies we ranked for affordability.

Insurance company Rank for price/affordability among Insure.com’s top 10
BCBS of Michigan 9
Aetna 1
UnitedHealthcare 2 (tie)
Cigna 2 (tie)

How BCBS of Michigan scores for customer satisfaction

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.

Insurance company Percent of customers who are satisfied with the company overall J.D. Power overall satisfaction score (out of 1,000)
BCBS of Michigan 89% 748
Blue California 91% 738
Florida Blue 74% 746

How BCBS of Michigan scores for complaints filed against the company

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.

Insurance company NAIC Complaint Index
BCBS of Michigan 0.37

Would current customers recommend BCBS of Michigan to others?

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.

Insurance company Percent of customers who would recommend their health insurance company to others
BCBS of Michigan 84%
Blue California 87%
Florida Blue 83%

How trustworthy is BCBS of Michigan?

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%.

Insurance company Percent of customers who say they trust their health insurance company
BCBS of Michigan 74%
Blue California 70%
Florida Blue 65%

Do current BCBS of Michigan customers plan to renew?

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.

Insurance company Percent of customers who plan to renew with their health insurance company
BCBS of Michigan 84%
Blue California 83%
Florida Blue 87%

How BCBS of Michigan scores for policy offerings

BCBS of Michigan customers are satisfied with the policies offered. Blue Shield of California and Kaiser led this category.

Insurance company Percent of customers who score their insurance company highly for policy offerings
BCBS of Michigan 79%
Blue California and Kaiser 91%
Florida Blue 78%

Company health insurance coverage

  • Traditional plans for families and individuals
  • Health insurance through employers
  • Medicare and Medicaid plans
  • Pharmacy plans
  • International plans

Other services offered

  • Dental 
  • Vision
  • Wellness plans that reward members for improving their health

States where BCBS of Michigan offers coverage

Graph
Table
States where BCBS of Michigan offers coverage
Michigan
AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DC DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY
Available
Not available

Company background

bcbs of michigan

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.

Resources & Methodology

Sources:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.” Accessed December 2022.

Methodology

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: 

  • Survey – 60% of total score (10% for customer satisfaction, 10% trustworthiness, 10% for recommending the carrier to another, 10% if a respondent would renew with their current insurer, and 20% if they consider their insurer the best for affordability)
  • AM Best – 25% of total score
  • NCQA – 15% of total score

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.

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