Category: Government Programs, Health Insurance

What Are They Trying to Hide from You?

I’ve been so blessed the past few years. Since 2019, all three of my kids have married, one has had a child (hilarious!) and we have another grandchild on the way. My lovely wife retired after 35 years working hard as a registered nurse in various roles here in Louisiana. She’s now having fun as a full-time caregiver for a very busy 7-month-old boy! He’s at my house a lot, which makes my life even more fun! Call me Gramps!

The other day, watching that busy baby, I thought, “This kid needs a walker!” And so online shopping I went. The walkers I saw looked like tractors, off-road vehicles, pick-up trucks and race cars! So cool! I picked out one I thought looked really fun and got ready to put it into my cart… but, I thought, “let me check out some reviews first.”

Thank goodness I did! The more I dug, the less I liked these truck and tractor-looking walkers. Users had all sorts of problems with wheels and durability. I finally found one with tons of reviews and almost no complaints and went ahead and pushed the button to complete my transaction.

This is how we shop nowadays. A lot of things we buy aren’t just sitting on a store shelf anymore. We really lean into the technology that lets us learn about other people’s experiences to help us make good decisions. Where would we be without that? Online reviews and star ratings rule the day.

Gaming the System

You would think the same would be true when shopping for individual health insurance policies here in Louisiana on But it’s not.

Looking through the plans available for people to buy here, I noticed all the Blue Cross plans are rated by consumers. Those ratings are published and carried over from year to year. Our prospective customers can see feedback from current ones about what works and what doesn’t work with their plan coverage BEFORE making such an important choice. So far, so good. Seems a no-brainer in this day and age to give our customers that transparency.

Imagine how shocked I was to see that the other health insurance companies selling individual plans here in Louisiana HAVE NO CONSUMER RATINGS. How is that possible? These other guys are gaming the system by CHANGING THEIR PLAN NAMES EVERY YEAR.  That means even though the carrier is the same, the plans appear new to market. So, no historical consumer data is collected or made available to shoppers.

Instead of showing customer star ratings when you click on one of these plans, you’ll see the message “New Plan, no ratings available.” Some of them have been doing business here in Louisiana for YEARS, but their plans still have no consumer ratings or reviews available on for shoppers to see. You have to shop in the blind, basically, and trust that you’ll have coverage when you need it. Good luck with that!

Turns out, these carriers have identified a loophole in this federal program. All they have to do to suppress consumers’ opinions is change the name of their plans every year. And so they do, and none of their plans get ratings or reviews.

In fact, in Louisiana’s market, ONLY BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF LOUISIANA keeps the same plan names, allowing consumers to rate our plans and share their honest feedback with other consumers. And we carry those consumer ratings over from year to year when we put the same plans back on the marketplace. We believe transparency is important and that you deserve to see what our customers think.

Just us. Nobody else.

And yet, customers are buying HEALTH INSURANCE with no reviews, no ratings and no consumer data at all. HEALTH INSURANCE! It boggles my mind, honestly.

I’m betting many of these folks wouldn’t buy toothpaste or a light bulb from an online retailer without checking the reviews and star ratings first. What if nothing you bought online had ratings or reviews, and it just said, “let the buyer beware?” In most industries, a lack of customer reviews is a red flag. Shouldn’t health insurance customers have access to at least as much information as I got before buying my grandson his new ride (walker)?

Please Read This

Please, if you don’t read anything else today, read this:

Don’t buy health insurance from a company that is actively trying to keep you from seeing what your friends and neighbors here in Louisiana think about their products. They have something to hide, don’t you think? Maybe their provider networks are tiny or out of date. Maybe they only provide coverage in a select few parishes. Maybe they are thinking about leaving Louisiana, and don’t want to leave any negative baggage around. You just never know.

The Straight Talk is, ONLY your Blue Cross plan allows full-on, year-after-year ratings of our plans and products on Over 100,000 Louisianians have appreciated our honesty and transparency and enrolled in individual health coverage with us! We’re so glad you are here! Tell all your friends!

Posted on: May 17, 2024

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