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Blue Shield of California Provides Over $50 Million in Premium Relief for Customers to Help Ease Financial Burden During COVID-19 Pandemic

Premium credits for customers part of ongoing support for members, employer customers, providers and local communities coping with public health crisis

OAKLAND, Calif. (October 14, 2020) – Blue Shield of California today announced the nonprofit health plan is providing more than $50 million in premium credits for its customers facing economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Blue Shield is applying a one-time premium credit to bills issued for the month of November or December for its fully-insured employer customers. Premium credits will also be applied to November bills for people enrolled in Blue Shield dental and/or vision plans, plus those enrolled in Blue Shield’s Medicare Supplement plans.

“We are looking for ways to support our customers and members in these unprecedented, challenging times,” said Paul Markovich, president and CEO, Blue Shield. “It is especially important during this pandemic to serve our nonprofit mission and help all Californians have access to high-quality health care at an affordable price.”

The credit, which will vary by customer, will appear on their November or December billing statement. Today’s announcement is part of Blue Shield’s ongoing support for members, employer customers, providers and communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Blue Shield of California and its subsidiary Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan efforts include:

  • Extending the commitment to waive co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles for treatment of COVID-19 through December 31, 2020.
  • Continuing to cover costs for virtual care (medical and behavioral) services provided by Teladoc Health through December 31, 2020.
  • Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan providing $100,000 in grants to support nutrition for Southern Californians during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Donating $500,000 to the Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund to support pop-up coronavirus testing sites and other community initiatives.
  • Using latest technology to deliver personalized care by using machine learning to identify members with heightened needs during the pandemic.
  • Protecting employees and limiting the possible spread of the virus by initiating a company-wide work-from-home plan while maintaining uninterrupted service to our customers.

Blue Shield’s extensive support for medical providers during the pandemic include:

  • More than $200 million financial support program for qualifying in-network providers and hospitals facing financial pressures as a result of the pandemic.
  • New Primary Care Reimagined program that provides in-network physician groups access to an array of latest technologies to enhance their delivery of care, and new reimbursement models that results in more predictable cash flow for physician practices.
  • Offering a new digital tool to Blue Shield’s network hospitals at no additional cost to help them triage the influx of patients seeking advice on COVID-19 or other medical care.
  • Providing $100,000 support to MedShare, a San Francisco Bay area nonprofit organization that provides personal protective equipment (PPE) to nonprofit community healthcare providers.

Blue Shield also has created a dedicated COVID-19 website to inform members of their coverage under specific Blue Shield health benefit plans, as well as to support our employers, plan sponsors and brokers.

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 revenues. 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 the Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002 to have an impact on California communities.

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