Why Blue Shield Health Insurance - Blue Shield of California
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Why Should You Choose Blue Shield of California?


Blue Shield of California is a nonprofit health insurance plan dedicated to providing Californians with access to high-quality care at an affordable price. Founded by a group of physicians in 1939, the company is stable and strong, serving 4 million members today. We contribute $30 million annually to the Blue Shield of California Foundation to fund nonprofit organizations that improve access to quality health care, particularly underserved populations, in California.

Extensive Network

We put our members’ care first. With Blue Shield, you have easy access to a broad range of doctors, specialists and hospitals. Our providers meet stringent credentialing standards and include some of the most prestigious hospitals in the state. Our PPO, HMO, dental and vision networks are among the largest in California, giving you greater access and choice. Our plans allow you to self-refer to a specialist without having to see your primary care physician first. Many plans offer access to alternative care such as acupuncture and chiropractic services. Plus, to help you maintain your health, every plan includes access to preventive care services at no additional charge.

We actively help our members find access to quality care in a variety of ways. Our website provides up-to-date patient satisfaction information as well as a provider quality resources. Blue Shield was the first health plan in California to integrate and publicly distinguish high-performing physicians with our Blue Ribbon Program.* Now, with more information and comparative ratings at their fingertips, you are better prepared to make informed choices when choosing a doctor.

If you’re traveling outside California, our BlueCard® Program features 85% of all U.S. providers and more than 50,000 providers in 200 countries so you are covered almost anywhere you go.**  Check out our Find a Provider tool to learn more.

Quality Plans

Blue Shield of California has been granted an accreditation status of “Commendable” for our Commercial HMO/POS and Medicare HMO business. The commendable designation is awarded to plans that demonstrate levels of service and clinical quality that meet or exceed NCQA's rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement. Blue Shield’s Commercial PPO products went through an NCQA survey for the first time in 2012 and received an accreditation status of “Accredited.”  The expiration date for the Commercial HMO/POS, PPO, and Medicare HMO products is 2014.

We value member feedback. As the first health plan in the country to allow members to publicly rate and review our wide range of plans, we’re proud to have earned 4.1 out of 5 stars for overall satisfaction.

Valuable Savings

Our wellness discounts*** help make staying healthy more affordable. As a Blue Shield member, you can get access to a variety of healthy lifestyle products and services like massage sessions, gym memberships, Lasik eye surgery, and even a popular weight management program. The programs offer significant discounts - some up to 25%. Go to the full list to see all the great programs and discounts you'll get.

24/7 Access to Information

Part of our commitment to our members is helping them take control of their own health decisions. We strive to deliver the most useful information on our member portal, so you can easily find a provider they can trust, manage plan benefits, check the status of a claim, order a replacement ID card, and proactively get and stay well with a variety of interactive tools, programs, articles and videos.

As a Blue Shield member you will have round-the-clock access to NurseHelp 24/7 by phone or online chat. You can also talk to Master's-level counselors for support with work and personal issues with LifeReferrals 24/7℠. These specialists have resources for senior care, childcare and even financial counseling and legal advice. All communications are completely private and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It’s simple to find just the right coverage to protect yourself and your family. Check out our plans today!

* Based on nationally recognized measures, which includes quality scores, efficiency indicators and patient satisfaction scores.

** HMO members are only covered out of network for urgent and emergency care.

*** These discount program services are not a covered benefit of Blue Shield health plans and none of the terms or conditions of Blue Shield health plan applies.