Your Guide to Health Insurance

The process to get health insurance might seem complex, but Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska has the information you need to easily understand your options and get coverage.

5 Facts You Need to Know About Health Insurance

These guidelines will help you better understand when and how to buy coverage.

1. Open Enrollment Period

Most people are only able to enroll for or switch their health insurance during the Open Enrollment Period, which is from November 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018.

2. Everyone Qualifies

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) guarantees coverage, which prevents insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, age, or gender.

3. Young adults are covered

Children can now stay insured under a parent’s health insurance plan until age 26.


4. Not Having Health Insurance Will Cost You

If you did not get health insurance by January 31, 2017, you could be charged a penalty fee by the government.

5. Special Enrollment Period

The time outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period when you can purchase health insurance only if you have a qualifying life event.

10 Benefits You’ll Receive

Any Affordable Care Act health insurance plan you buy will always include these 10 essential benefits:

Outpatient care


Emergency room trips


Inpatient care in the hospital


Maternity and newborn care


Mental health and substance
abuse services


Your prescription drugs


Rehabilitative and habilitative
services and devices


Your lab tests


Pediatric services for kids


Preventive services like vaccines
and screenings

How to Shop for Health Insurance

You can shop for and get health insurance directly with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska

Shopping with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska for your individual or family health insurance plan means you’ll have our trusted team on your side. Talk to one of our advisors to receive personal guidance while finding the best plan for you.


Bronze Health Plan

Typically covers 60% of covered health care expenses.

Catastrophic Health Plan

Available for adults under 30 and individuals exempted from the individual mandate because they cannot find affordable insurance are allowed to purchased catastrophic plans.

Call us today at 844-335-8814 or


What Happens If You Don’t Get Health Insurance?

If you decide not to get health insurance, you won’t just risk the cost of an unexpected injury or illness, you’ll also have to pay a government-enforced penalty fee for the year when it’s time to file your federal income tax return.

The penalty fee in 2016 was:

  • $695per adult + $347.50per child under 18
  • or 2.5%of your household income, whichever is higher.
The maximum penalty fee was $2,085 per family.
The fee is expected to rise in 2017.

Why Blue Cross and Blue Shield?

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska provides Nebraskans with flexible health and wellness solutions to fit their health care, lifestyle, and budget needs. Member perks include:


More access. Get convenient access to your health information, claim status, and ID card through your myNebraskablue online account.

Cost Estimator Tool

More knowledge. See how much your plan covers and what you can expect to pay out of pocket before you go for certain medical procedures with doctors and hospitals in your area.

Telehealth Services

More convenience. Interact with a doctor by computer, tablet, or smartphone anytime (day or night) to save time and money.

Identity Protection

More security. Identity protection for you and your family, including identity theft repair and free credit monitoring.


More savings. Exclusive savings through our Blue365 program on fitness gear and apparel, gym memberships, and healthy eating.

BlueHealth Advantage

More wellness. Wellness programs like the BlueHealth Advantage website keep you informed, active, and motivated.

But most importantly, with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, you have our commitment to your health. We’re more than just a health insurance company. We’re your advocate—giving you access to resources, tools, and programs to help manage your health and improve your well-being.

Still have questions? Call us today at 844-335-8814 or

Contact Us

Blue Cross and Blue Shield by the Numbers

years of service
to Nebraskans
employees, all based
in Nebraska

Still have questions? Call us today at 844-335-8814 or

Contact Us

Health Insurance Terms

Affordable Care Act:

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a United States federal statute signed into law on March 23, 2010, and is designed to make health care more affordable, accessible and of a higher quality.

Catastrophic Plan:

An affordable way to protect yourself. Only adults under 30 and individuals exempted from the individual mandate because they cannot find affordable insurance are allowed to purchase catastrophic plans.


The percentage of the bill you pay after your deductible has been met.


A fixed amount you pay when you get a covered health service.


The amount you pay for health services each calendar year before your insurance begins to pay.

Inpatient care:

Care you receive that requires admission to a hospital.

Open Enrollment Period:

The window of time from November 1 - January 31 when you can purchase health insurance.


A term for providers that aren’t contracting with your insurance company. (Tend to be more expensive than in-network providers.)


Your expenses for medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for covered services, plus all costs for services that aren’t covered.

Outpatient care:

Care you receive at a hospital without being admitted.

Pediatric services:

Health care for kids, including dental care and vision care.


If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must have a health coverage exemption or pay a tax penalty on your federal income tax return.


The amount you pay to your health insurance company each month.

Preventive Services:

Routine health care that includes screenings, check-ups and patient counseling to prevent illness, disease, or other health problems.

Rehab services:

Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured, or have a disability or chronic condition. This includes physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, psychiatric rehabilitation, and more.

Substance Abuse Disorder Services:

Includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy.

Special Enrollment Period:

The time after the Open Enrollment Period when you can still purchase health insurance only if you have a qualifying life event (losing other health coverage, having a baby, getting married, moving).

We're here to help

Shopping for health insurance and have some questions?

Call 844-335-8814 to talk to a health plan advisor

or request information below.

* fields are required.

I want BCBSNE to contact me via email, text, or calls. I understand and agree that calls to me may be made via automatic telephone dialing system or artificial/pre-recorded message.