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nina_70

FL Blue Still Allowing Use Of Blue Card Out Of State in 2018?

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Hey all,

We're looking into changing domicile to Sumter to take advantage of Fl Blue EPO/PPO options over there next year, but I'm having trouble finding any info about the "Blue Card" that everyone uses out of state. I know it was a valid option in 2017 and I've heard multiple reports from people that have used it this past year, but has anyone confirmed that is still valid for next year, 2018?

The reason I ask is as follows:

1/ I cannot find any information about "Blue Card" on FL Blue website
2/ When I try to go through the process of choosing & plan and then doing a provider using either BlueSelect or BlueOptions I get zero providers outside of FL.
3/ If I try to look for providers directly on the FL Blue website (using this link https://providersearch.floridablue.com/providersearch/pub/index.htm) I cannot get any providers outside of FL using either BlueSelect or BlueOptions. There is no option to select "Blue Card" here.
4/ I have called TWO Florida Blue Agents (it's taken me 50 mins of hold each time) and neither one had any information about Blue Card. Both told me that I would have to pay out-of-network costs outside of FL. It's possible I just got a poor draw with these 2 agents.

SO, I'd love to hear confirmation from someone that currently has FL Blue (BlueSelect or BlueOptions) to check that they've been told they can still use the Blue Card next year?

Nina

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Nina if you scroll to the bottom of the screen at the provider search link you provided you can search "Doctors & Hospitals Nationally".

 

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Using the BCBS national provider search function today doesn't prove the Blue Select and Blue Options plans still have nationwide coverage for 2018, but on FL Blue's website the plans are still listed as PPO/EPO for 2018, which to me indicates they still are PPO when out of state. I'd really like to see a contract for 2018 or for DH to get his 2018 ID card with the PPO logo to know for sure, since there is absolutely nothing mentioned in the Summary of Benefits and Coverage about nationwide provider coverage. I did find this document, which has a print date of 06/17.  It say coverage, but doesn't really say in-network coverage. Also be sure to read my post about the differences in Blue Select and Blue Options plans.

EnglishBlueOptionsFactSheet.pdf

Edited by saydiver

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Here in Mich Blue Cross website they address it in their FAQ page. Maybe they do the same in Fl?   

Your Blue Cross coverage travels with you wherever you go. Here are the steps you take depending on what care you need and where.

How to get care when traveling within Michigan and the U.S.

As a PPO member, you're free to see any doctor you want wherever you are. But, if you want to keep costs down, it's important to see Blue Cross-approved doctors when you travel around the U.S.

For emergency or accidental injuries:

  • Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital or emergency care center. Emergency care is always covered anywhere within the U.S. Just make sure you have your Blue Cross ID card on you.

For urgent care that requires attention within 48 hours:

  • All urgent care is covered, no matter where you are. Just make sure you have your Blue Cross ID card on you.
  • When you need to find a doctor or hospital in Michigan or in another state, just enter your address, city or any location to find nearby care from a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan doctor or hospital. If you’re not near a computer, you can call the customer service number on the back of your Blue Cross ID card. If you’re outside of Michigan, call BlueCard at 1-800-810-2583 for a list of doctors and hospitals in your area.
  • Under the BlueCard® Program, you can get urgent and emergency care in your network when you're traveling out of the state of Michigan. 

For non-emergency care:

  • Whether you're traveling in Michigan or out of state, you can search for doctors who accept your plan.
  • If the doctor you see isn't a Blue Cross doctor, your share of the costs might go up and you might not get covered for all services.

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FL Blue has the following in their FAQs. Notice there's no mention of what plans have BlueCard coverage.

"How am I covered if I travel outside the state of Florida?

When traveling out-of-state, you’re covered under the BlueCard® Program. You’ll receive in-network benefits and will be protected from balance billing when receiving covered services from a BlueCard® participating provider. To find a BlueCard® participating provider, visit Find a Doctor and More, then select the BlueCard® Doctor and Hospital Finder, or call 1-800-810-BLUE."

 

 

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Last year when I moved from TX to FL, the very vague and ditzy FLBlue agent I dealt with at a FLBlue office in The Villages (Sumter County) told me that if I don't spend time in FL -- and I do not expect to return there in the next several years  --- to go with the Blue Select because, although the network is much more limited in FL than Blue Options,  outside FL the preferred network -- Blue Card--  is the same as for Blue Options.   

She then plugged "MD Anderson Cancer Hospital Houston" into the provider directory to demonstrate her point, and said that if I needed cancer care --knock on wood not -- FLBlue would cover treatment there as in-network.  Hmmmm. 

Keeping  in mind the warning about " exclusive providers" in Blue Select as noted in an excellent post here last year,  I chose Blue Select, (have not used it except for a flu shot at Walgreens in WY) and have spent the year trying to confirm what I was told: that basically for Blue Select the coverage/network outside FL is better than in FL.

Does the the square with anyone else's understanding? Is there some way (good agent, or ??) who can confirm this ... Or not?

 

 

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36 minutes ago, GreyDawg said:

Last year when I moved from TX to FL, the very vague and ditzy FLBlue agent I dealt with at a FLBlue office in The Villages (Sumter County) told me that if I don't spend time in FL -- and I do not expect to return there in the next several years  --- to go with the Blue Select because, although the network is much more limited in FL than Blue Options,  outside FL the preferred network -- Blue Card--  is the same as for Blue Options.   

She then plugged "MD Anderson Cancer Hospital Houston" into the provider directory to demonstrate her point, and said that if I needed cancer care --knock on wood not -- FLBlue would cover treatment there as in-network.  Hmmmm. 

Keeping  in mind the warning about " exclusive providers" in Blue Select as noted in an excellent post here last year,  I chose Blue Select, (have not used it except for a flu shot at Walgreens in WY) and have spent the year trying to confirm what I was told: that basically for Blue Select the coverage/network outside FL is better than in FL.

Does the the square with anyone else's understanding? Is there some way (good agent, or ??) who can confirm this ... Or not?

 

 

Yes, instate Blue Select and Blue Options plans are EPO and out of state they are PPO. There's only one BlueCard network for everyone in all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico who has a BCBS policy and has BlueCard coverage:

https://www.bcbs.com/the-health-of-america/articles/coverage-goes-where-you-go-travel-worry-free-blue-cross-blue-shield

 

Here's a link to my post last year about the differences in Blue Select and Blue Options plans:
 

 

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26 minutes ago, GreyDawg said:

Thanks.  Now I just need to confirm that Blue Select has Blue Card coverage.  

Does FL Blue notify you by letter who the exclusive providers are for your Blue Select plan?  

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i don't know if there will be such a letter or not.  There may already be -- I haven't had my mail sent to me since mid-September.  Might do that this week or next ....

 

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For what its worth, I just "chatted" with Florida Blue's support via their website.

I asked, "I travel outside of the state quite frequently. Do the BlueSelect and BlueChoice plans have access to the BlueCard nationwide network?"

The agent responded - "Yes, same BlueCard nationwide network for both, BlueChoice has a bigger network within Florida."

Edited by cwr

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