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Blue Shield of California Releases its Mission Report

Highlights show improved customer experience, record spending on medical care

Blue Shield of California has achieved higher customer experience scores and it is spending more on healthcare services than any time in its history, according to the company’s 2019 Mission Report published today.

The Mission Report shows the taxpaying, nonprofit health plan served nearly 4.4 million members as of Dec. 31, 2019, up about 10 percent over the past three years.

Blue Shield reported improved customer experience scores, receiving a Forrester Customer Index Score of 66.0, putting it in the top tier of the health insurance industry. Over the past few years, the company’s score has increased faster than peers and the industry as a whole.

Paul Markovich Boardroom square
Paul Markovich

“We are on the precipice of transforming health care in a way that truly serves our nonprofit mission by lowering costs, improving quality, and enhancing the member and clinician experience,” writes Paul Markovich, Blue Shield of California’s president and CEO. “We’ve dedicated much of our 2019 Mission Report to the many innovations we have pursued.”

Some of those initiatives include:

  • Real time claims: In October 2019, we launched a pilot program with OODA Health, Dignity Health, and Hill Physicians to make healthcare claims and payments happen more immediately after patients receive care.
  • Partners in care: Our community health advocates are committed to helping our Medi-Cal members get the best possible care. Advocates put members in touch with vital community and social services, such as nutrition and housing, that are essential for good health.
  • Investing in next-generation care: We are a founding investor in Altais, a new company that empowers doctors to focus on what they do best: connecting with and treating patients.
  • Powering better health: Our Wellvolution platform gives members 50+ digital tools for improving their health – as well as access to more than 30,000 brick & mortar locations. More than 27,000 members joined the Diabetes Reduction program and there was an average weight reduction of 5% and customer satisfaction rating of 92%.

Blue Shield’s balance sheet remained strong during 2019.

The company paid more than $18 billion in health care costs, up 4.3% compared with 2018 expenses. More than 85 cents of every $1 collected in premiums went to cover healthcare expenses.

  • The company has reduced its general and administrative expenses by more than $80 million compared to a year ago, or 2.8%. The savings were generated by enterprise wide initiatives to help meet its affordability goals. This includes transforming its operational areas through automation and operational efficiencies.
    mission report 2019 cover


  • Blue Shield’s net income of $527 million, was 2.9% of revenues. As a nonprofit with a 2% cap on net income, this created the opportunity for the company to return more than $100 million to its members and the communities it serves in 2020, including various forms of premiums relief for members struggling to maintain their insurance during the coronavirus pandemic.

Blue Shield also maintained a steady level of funding for Blue Shield of California Foundation, contributing $40 million at the end of 2019. The foundation is a leading supporter of efforts to reduce the cycle of domestic violence in California and help make the state the healthiest in the union.

For the online version of the report, click here. Download the full PDF version of the report here.