BY JEFF SMITH – Covered California announced last week that Blue Shield of California is the No. 1 health plan purchased on the exchange with 28 percent market share. Anthem and Kaiser were also preferred choices for consumers, garnering 25 and 24 percent market share respectively.
More than 439,000 new consumers signed up for health care coverage during Covered California’s most recent open enrollment. Of those, more than 117,000 signed up with Blue Shield, and an additional 315,000 renewed with us, boosting our total on-exchange membership to more than 433,000. We want to thank all of our new and renewing members for choosing Blue Shield and trusting in our products. Also, thank you to our brokers for their continued partnership and ongoing service to our members.
Much of our success this year can be attributed to our statewide network of more than 40,000 doctors. Blue Shield is grateful to the physicians and hospitals who share in our affordability goals to keep our products sustainably affordable for our members. Our ability to limit our rate increases across the state also contributed to our spike in membership growth. Some members in Southern California even saw decreases in rates in 2016. This helped attract more than 25,000 consumers from other health plans. Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented three years ago, we have grown our membership by 175 percent.
Our most popular plan on the exchange thus far has been our Silver plans, comprising more than 70 percent of our new enrollee sales and allowing members to take advantage of cost sharing and premium subsidies.
Blue Shield is focused on ensuring all Californians have access to high quality healthcare at an affordable price. Covered California has done an excellent job creating a marketplace for consumers to shop by price, network and quality score. I am thrilled about our growth and success on the exchange, and I look forward to continue working with Covered California to improve health care access and affordability for all.
Jeff Smith is vice president and general manager of individual and family plans at Blue Shield of California.