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Blue Shield of California
Founded in 1939, Blue Shield of California is California’s
third biggest health plan with 3.2 million members and $7.5 billion
in annual revenue. Blue Shield has its headquarters in San Francisco
and it is a not-for-profit corporation employing nearly 4,300 people
and running more than 20 offices throughout California. As a not-for-profit
mutual benefit health plan, Blue Shield of California tries to encourage
innovation and act as a catalyst for constructive change. An independent
member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, it proposes
to guarantee health coverage for all Californians, the first time
a major health plan has called for universal coverage. Its mission
is to give all Californians access to high-quality health care at
a reasonable price. Its annual revenue is about $7.5 billion. Blue
Shield was recently awarded an “Excellent” rating by
the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its HMO
and Point of Service (POS) lines of business. In February 2006,
it received financial ratings of ‘A’ (stable) from Standard
and Poor, ‘A’ (excellent) from AM Best and ‘A’
(excellent) rating by Weiss Ratings, Inc.
The total number of its members as of January 2006 (including HMO,
PPO, TRICARE and others) is 3,300,000.
Blue Shield of California offers several types of health coverage
for individuals, families or groups. It also offers dental coverage
for Blue Shield individual or family plan members, and life insurance
and short-term health plans are available through Blue Shield of
California Life & Health Insurance Company (Blue Shield Life).
Blue Shield of California offers both HMO and PPO health plans
and dental plans. Each type of plan offers some distinct advantages.
With HMO plans, the advantages are lower out-of-pocket expenses,
no lifetime maximum, lower office visit co-pays, lower hospital
deductibles and virtually no claim forms. Advantages of HMO dental
plans include: no waiting periods for most services, access to over
8,600 dental care providers, and no deductibles. PPO health plans
are advantageous because of freedom to visit preferred or non-preferred
doctors and specialists, the ability to go to any network specialist
without a referral, and choice of plans with or without a medical
plan deductible, lower out-of-pocket expenses when network providers
are used and ability to establish a Health Savings Account with
our Shield Spectrum PPO Savings Plan 2400/4800 and 4000/8000.
Among the advantages of PPO dental plans are an extensive network
of more than 16,000 general and specialty dentists, deductible of
$50 per member per calendar year, a wide range of dental services,
including diagnostic and preventive services at no charge, coverage
even when you use an out-of-network dentist and no waiting period
for diagnostic or preventive services.
It offers six Medicare Supplement Plans help that enhance Medicare
benefits. You can get coverage for costs not covered by Medicare,
such as Parts A and B deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance and
more. These are available statewide and you can choose any doctor
or hospital nationwide that accepts Medicare. Its Medicare Advantage
HMOs provide all the medical services and supplies offered by Original
Medicare, plus additional benefits like prescription drug coverage
and vision benefits. Blue Shield Medicare Rx Plans can help you
cover your prescription drug costs.
Corporate address of Blue Shield of California:
50 Beale Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-1808, (415) 229-5000.