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Blue Shield of California Brings Innovative Benefits for Medicare Advantage Members to Help Improve Their Health and Wellbeing

Nonprofit health plan’s offerings include telehealth, acupuncture, chiropractic care; expands services in Northern California and Central Coast

OAKLAND, Calif. (October 1, 2020) – Blue Shield of California today announced innovative benefits for 2021 Medicare Advantage plan offerings with expanded service areas to serve more beneficiaries and support their health and wellness needs.

Effective January 1, 2021, Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan members will be able to enjoy key benefits[1] such as:

  • Telehealth services by phone or video 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Non-Medicare covered acupuncture evaluation and treatment.
  • Non-Medicare covered chiropractic services including initial and subsequent examinations and treatment, X-rays and laboratory tests.
  • In addition to the annual wellness visit, one physical exam every 12 months that includes a comprehensive review of the member’s medical and family history, detailed head-to-toe assessment and other services.
  • Home meal delivery service for members who are discharged from an inpatient hospital or skilled nursing facility – up to 22 meals and 10 snacks.

These benefits are in addition to services Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan members already enjoy such as personal emergency response system, routine dental, hearing aids, and the SilverSneakers® Fitness Program[2]

“Our goal is to provide Medicare Advantage plan members with more benefits and innovative tools and services to create a personal, high-quality experience that helps them remain vibrant in their golden years,” said Krista Bowers, general manager and vice president of Medicare for Blue Shield of California. “With our 2021 offerings, Blue Shield is delivering on our commitment to providing our Medicare Advantage plan members access to care that is worthy of our family and friends.”

Northern California and San Joaquin Valley:

  • Blue Shield of California is expanding its Medicare Advantage plan service area in Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties.
  • Together with AAA Northern California, Blue Shield has come up with three new Medicare Advantage Plans3 -  Blue Shield Inspire (HMO), Blue Shield Inspire (HMO D-SNP) and Blue Shield Inspire (PPO) in Northern California with independence and safe mobility6 offerings that include:
    • Classic AAA Membership4 – a one-year membership with 24/7 AAA roadside assistance.
    • AAA Roadwise Driver – a course designed to help older adults refine their driving skills to become safer drivers.
    • Educational Driving Resources – with a dedicated website containing resources and advice for drivers, such as AAA Roadwise Rx5 – a tool designed to help you learn more about your medications and how they may affect your driving.

Southern California and Central Coast:

  • Blue Shield is expanding its Medicare Advantage plan service area to include all of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, which includes new network agreements with Sansum Clinic and Cottage Health in Santa Barbara county.
  • Starting January 1, 2021, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Medicare Advantage HMO and HMO D-SNP members will become Blue Shield of California members. With this transition, members will be able to enjoy Blue Shield’s robust digital customer service through its website and more choice in terms of products and services.

Medicare’s Annual Election Period is October 15, 2020 to December 7, 2020. For more information about Blue Shield’s Medicare offerings, please visit


About Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a tax paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association with over four million members, 6,800 employees and more than $20 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare healthcare service plans in California. The company has contributed more than $500 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002 to have an impact on California communities.

For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit

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1. Benefits vary by plan and by service area. Refer to for complete details.

2. Benefits vary by plan and by service area. Refer to for complete details.

3. Effective January 1, 2021, available in select counties in Northern California.

4. One year new or renewal Classic AAA Membership in 2021 valued at up to $56/year. AAA Membership provided by AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah.

5. This tool is intended to provide users with general information to help them better understand the traffic safety implications of using certain medications before driving. The information is not medical advice. Consult with your doctor before altering any medications or driving, or if you have specific medical questions or think you may be suffering from any medical condition.

6. Blue Shield Inspire's Special Supplemental Benefit for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) requires eligibility determination. You must have one or more qualifying chronic conditions to receive this benefit. To determine eligibility for the SSBCI, Blue Shield Inspire members whose effective date of enrollment in the plan is January 1, 2021 or later must complete an Attestation Form and submit it to the plan. For members whose effective date of enrollment in Blue Shield Inspire is prior to January 1, 2021, Blue Shield will review member data to determine eligibility and will notify members of their eligibility. Please see the plan EOC for additional details.

Blue Shield Inspire (HMO) is only available in the following counties: Alameda, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Sacramento, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, San Mateo, and Stanislaus.

Blue Shield Inspire (HMO D-SNP) is only available in the following counites: Fresno, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus.

Blue Shield Inspire (PPO) is only available in the following county: Alameda.

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