Care access

One card. Many ways to get the care you need

From routine checkups to emergencies and everything in between, your Blue Shield ID card gives you access to a quality network of healthcare providers. Whether you’re home, on vacation, or fighting a fever in the middle of the night, here’s a guide to getting the care you need when and where you need it.*

Primary care physicians (PCPs) and specialists

When to see a PCP: Preventive and routine care
When to see a specialist: Chronic or specialty care

For annual checkups and routine medical needs and health screenings, choose a PCP from our quality networks of doctors. For more complex medical needs, you may need to see a specialist who can treat a specific condition. If you have a Trio HMO plan, you will need a referral from your PCP to see a specialist.

Find a doctor now

Emergency room (ER) or urgent care?

When to go to ER: Life-threatening condition
When to go to urgent care: Non-emergency care

The ER is for true emergencies. If your life is in danger or you are at risk for a disabling condition, go to the emergency room or dial 911. For non-emergencies, an urgent care center may save you time and money when your doctor isn’t available.

Find an urgent care center now


When to use: After hours, non-emergency care

If you can't get an appointment with your PCP, then Teladoc is a convenient alternative. Talk to a board-certified doctor 24/7/365 over the phone or by video chat. You can also set up a phone or video appointment with a mental health professional. Appointments must be scheduled in advance and are available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.

Set up your account

NurseHelp 24/7SM

When to use: Anytime

Get immediate and reliable health advice 24/7 from a registered nurse over the phone. 

Learn more

BlueCard program

When to use: Care when traveling

The BlueCard® Program gives you and your family coverage for emergency and urgent care and any related follow-up visits for both PPO and Trio HMO plans.

Learn more

Services available to PPO members only

Retail clinics

When to go: Routine care

Get convenient, preventive care at participating CVS Pharmacy® and Target locations.

Learn more

NurseHelp 24/7 is a service mark of Blue Shield of California. NurseHelp 24/7 is a healthcare advice line. Nurses do not provide medical services for treatment or diagnosis.

* Some of the services or programs listed on this page are only available to members with specific plans. To find out if you have access to these services, please review your Evidence of Coverage.

© California Physicians' Service DBA Blue Shield of California 1999-2024. All rights reserved. California Physicians’ Service DBA Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Shield Association. Health insurance products are offered by Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company. Health plans are offered by Blue Shield of California.