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Care1st Acquisition Helps Blue Shield of California Fulfill Healthcare Access and Affordability Mission, President and CEO Paul Markovich Tells State Regulator

SACRAMENTO, CA (June 8, 2015) --- Blue Shield of California’s agreement to acquire Care1st Health Plan would enable the company to better fulfill its mission to ensure access to high-quality healthcare at an affordable price, President and CEO Paul Markovich told the Department of Managed Healthcare (DMHC) at a public meeting.

As a result of acquiring the Los Angeles-based Care1st, Blue Shield would begin covering the low-income Californians who are enrolled in Medi-Cal, California’s version of the federal Medicaid program. Care1st includes members enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare, as well as members dually eligible for both programs. Blue Shield currently serves more than 240,000 Medicare beneficiaries in California.

Acquiring Care1st is an ideal fit for both entities because it would keep Care1st’s operational structure and employees in place, while allowing Blue Shield to bring its financial, brand and geographic strengths to the membership, Markovich said. As a California-based company entering Medi-Cal, Blue Shield would build on the expertise of Care1st employees.

“Blue Shield has long believed that serving the 12 million Californians in Medi-Cal is crucial to its mission and to the universal coverage goals of the Affordable Care Act,” Markovich said. “Having Blue Shield acquire Care1st is by far the best option for Californians because it gives the Care1st organization its best chance to systematically improve quality and affordability, expand its reach to serve more Californians, and keep jobs and revenue in California.”

In addition to discussing the acquisition, Markovich addressed questions about Blue Shield’s tax status and not-for-profit mission. While Blue Shield is not a charity and holds no charitable assets, its social welfare mission benefits all Californians.

“We are and will remain not-for-profit. We are not converting to for-profit status. No one is going to make us convert to for-profit status. Period,” Markovich said.

To view Markovich’s remarks in their entirety, please click here. You can also learn more about Blue Shield’s not-for-profit history here and about the Care1st transaction here.

Contact: Steve Shivinsky, 415-229-5359,

Background on Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan with 3.5 million members, 5,800 employees and more than $13 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California provides health, dental, vision, and Medicare health care service plans in California. The company’s mission is to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality care at an affordable price. Blue Shield has contributed more than $325 million over the past ten years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation. Contact your local agent or broker about Blue Shield of California products and services, or visit