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Blue Shield of California Closes on Acquisition of Care1st, Enters Medi-Cal/Medicaid

SAN FRANCISCO AND MONTEREY PARK, CA (October 8, 2015) – Blue Shield of California today announced it has completed the acquisition of Care1st Health Plan, a provider-founded managed care company based in Los Angeles County.

As a result of the transaction, Blue Shield and its affiliates will serve Medi-Cal and Medicaid beneficiaries for the first time. The acquisition will also result in increased Medicare membership and coverage for the growing population of enrollees eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. Care1st primarily serves residents in Southern California and has a smaller presence in Arizona and Texas. Medi-Cal is the state of California’s version of the federal Medicaid program for low-income enrollees.

The completion of the acquisition comes after approval from the state Department of Managed Health Care, affirming in part that Blue Shield paid a fair purchase price, is not organized as a charity and will remain a not-for-profit. Blue Shield has committed to bringing Care1st into its not-for-profit organizational structure.

“We use our mission as a guide for all decisions, including the decision to acquire Care1st,” said Paul Markovich, President and CEO of Blue Shield of California. “This acquisition will expand our reach to serve more Californians, allow us to systematically improve the quality and affordability of their care and keep Care1st jobs and revenue in California.”

Care1st Health Plan CEO Anna Tran will continue to lead Care1st while Blue Shield develops a plan to integrate Care1st staff and infrastructure.

“Finding the right partner was very important to Care1st because of the company’s deep roots and devotion to the communities we serve,” said Tran. “I know Blue Shield is committed to enhancing Care1st’s business and continuing its legacy.”

Care1st headquarters in Monterey Park will remain open, along with Care1st-run clinics in Palmdale and Lancaster.

Please read our FAQs for more information regarding Blue Shield of California’s acquisition of Care1st.

Contact: Steve Shivinsky, 415-229-5359,

About 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 4 million members, 6,800 employees and more than $13 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid 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

About Care1st Health Plan
A plan dedicated to members first, Care1st Health Plan was founded in 1994 by a group comprised of  providers, organized medical groups, and hospitals with the heart of the community at the forefront of their minds. This dynamic team came together to create a pro-patient healthcare delivery system that has grown to over 500,000 members today. Care1st offers Medicaid, Medicare Advantage HMO, and Dual Eligible Special needs plans. The same healthcare professionals continue to lead Care1st as an expanding consumer-based organization, striving to deliver the right care, more choices, competitive health benefits and provider-focused service. For more information, please visit our website at