Access+ HMO

Access one of the largest networks of doctors and hospitals in California with Blue Shield's Access+ HMO plan

The Blue Shield Access+ HMO® plan is designed to provide you and your family with comprehensive benefits and access to one of the largest healthcare provider networks in the state. The Access+ provider network includes more than 11,000 primary care physicians, 300 hospitals and 21,000 specialists.

With Access+ HMO, you'll pay no or low copayments each time you see a physician. Your eligible dependents can also enroll in in the plan.

Access+ delivers value, quality and many care choices. Highlights of the plan include:

  • No deductible and zero copayments for hospitalization and preventive care

  • Coverage for urgent and emergency care anywhere in the world

  • Ability to select a different primary care physician for each member of your family, and change that physician anytime

  • Self-referral to specialists, using the Access+ Specialist℠ self-referral feature1

  • Ability to get a second opinion on your diagnosis or treatment from any contracted Blue Shield physician in the state

  • 24/7 access to board-certified California doctors online or by phone through Teladoc when your doctor is not available

  • Chiropractic and acupuncture services covered for a $15 copay, up to a maximum of 20 combined visits, when using American Specialty Health (ASH) network providers

  • Flu vaccines available at participating retail pharmacies (PDF, 46KB) in addition to your doctor's office for a $0 copay

  • Health and wellness programs, such as Condition Management and Wellvolution®

  • One-on-one support from Shield Concierge, a CalPERS-dedicated Member Services team

1With Access+ Specialist, you can self-refer to a participating specialist in the same medical group or Independent Practice Association (IPA) as your primary care physician for a fixed office visit copayment of $30. Not all medical groups or IPAs participate in this program.

Service area

Access+ HMO is available in the following counties. Click on a county to view a full listing of local providers.

AlamedaMarinSan Luis Obispo 
ButteMariposaSan Mateo
Contra CostaMercedSanta Barbara
El Dorado*Nevada*Santa Clara
FresnoOrange Santa Cruz
KernSan Bernardino*Tulare
KingsSan Diego*Ventura
Los AngelesSan FranciscoYolo
MaderaSan Joaquin*

* Partial county – please check the applicable Evidence of Coverage for covered areas.

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How to select a doctor

As a member of the Blue Shield Access+ HMO plan, you and your dependents have the option to choose from a variety of primary care physicians and medical groups. You can change your primary care physician at any time for any reason, and your new doctor will be effective on the first day of the following month.

To find out if your current doctor is in our network or to choose a new doctor, go to Choose Find a Doctor, under Choose a Plan, select CalPERS, and then choose CalPERS Access+ HMO.

Need help? Call your dedicated Shield Concierge team at (800) 334-5847 for personal assistance. 

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Covered services and copayments

You can find brief descriptions of the Blue Shield Access+ HMO plan benefits for CalPERS members in our 2017 brochure (PDF, 573KB).

For the exact terms and conditions of coverage, including plan limitations and exclusions, please see the 2017 Access+ HMO Basic Plan Evidence of Coverage (PDF, 1MB).


The CalPERS Health Benefits Committee and the Board of Administration approved the following changes to the Blue Shield Access+ HMO plan for 2017:

  • The NetValue HMO plan will be discontinued: If you are a NetValue member, you will be automatically enrolled in our Access+ HMO plan if you do not choose another plan during open enrollment. By switching to Access+ HMO, NetValue members will be able to keep their same doctors and benefits, while gaining access to an even larger network of doctors, specialists and hospitals. Please contact your Health Benefits Officer to find out how the plan change will impact your monthly payments.

  • Teladoc copay will change: The Teladoc copay will decrease from $15 to $5 per call.

  • A new Diabetes Prevention Program will be introduced: CalPERS members who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes will now have access to a Diabetes Prevention Program. Members eligible to participate will be offered a range of support, based on individual needs, for a pre-defined period of time. The goal is to modify lifestyle habits that put members at risk for developing diabetes at no additional cost to members.

  • New out-of-pocket maximums will take effect: Per federal healthcare reform requirements, the out-of-pocket maximum for both pharmacy and medical expenses will not exceed $7,150 per individual and $14,300 per family. There is still a $1,500 per individual and $3,000 per family out-of pocket maximum for medical expenses. However, there will now be a $5,650 per individual and $11,300 per family out-of-pocket maximum for pharmacy expenses.

    If you have questions about any of these benefit changes, please contact Shield Concierge at (800) 334-5847.

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Pharmacy benefits

In addition to offering a large pharmacy network that includes chains such as Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid, we have a convenient mail-order prescription service through CVS Caremark®.

If you take medication for a chronic condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure, you can get up to a 90-day supply of your prescriptions by mail or from one of our select retail pharmacies. For a list of select pharmacies, please visit the Pharmacy Resources page.

Prescriptions at retail pharmacies

Up to a 30-day supply of non-maintenance drugs or the first three fills of maintenance drugsUp to a 30-day supply of maintenance drugs after the first three fills or up to a 90-day supply of maintenance drugs from select retail pharmacies
$5 generic$10 generic
$20 brand-name$40 brand-name

$50 non-formulary

$100 non-formulary

Prescriptions through mail service prescriptions

Up to a 90-day supply of maintenance drugs
$10 generic
$40 brand-name

$100 non-formulary

For more information about how to register for and receive medications from CVS Caremark, visit the Access+ HMO and EPO Drug Copay page on our CalPERS member website.

2017 Pharmacy Network Changes—Mail Service and Specialty Pharmacy

Please note pharmacy network changes to the Blue Shield of California’s Access+ HMO plan effective January 1, 2017:

Mail Service Pharmacy
CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy™ will replace PrimeMail as Blue Shield’s contracted network mail service pharmacy.

Specialty Pharmacy
CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy will replace Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy as Blue Shield’s contracted network specialty pharmacy.

To find out more about your personal pharmacy copayments and benefits:

  • Check your Evidence of Coverage (EOC) booklet

  • Call Shield Concierge at (800) 334-5847

  • Log in to and select My Health Plan

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