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Blue Shield of California Announces New 2022 Medicare Advantage Plan, 'Blue Shield Balance (HMO)' in Los Angeles County

New plan provides additional support and services including multiple-language translators and a dedicated Spanish-speaking concierge team

LOS ANGELES (October 15, 2021) – Blue Shield of California today announced a new Medicare Advantage plan in Los Angeles County, Blue Shield Balance (HMO) starting January 1, 2022. Blue Shield Balance offers multi-language concierge customer service and support, a Special Supplemental Benefit for the Chronically Ill (SSBCI) called Healthy Grocery for eligible members with certain chronic conditions (not all members will qualify) as well as support resources for caregivers and more.

Blue Shield Balance is designed to address the needs of the diverse Medicare beneficiary population in Los Angeles County. The plan offers unique benefits and services to help members and their caregivers feel at-ease and supported to maximize their health and wellbeing. With the reliance of caregiver support on the rise, Blue Shield Balance provides a wide range of services to support the care of our members.

“Many of our Medicare members want the peace of mind that comes with knowing they are being taken care of when they feel most vulnerable,” said Lina Saadzoi, vice president and general manager of Medicare at Blue Shield of California. “We are excited to offer our new Blue Shield Balance plan because it provides a high level of thoughtful, personalized service and support that our members and their caregivers deserve. Our goal is to provide Californians access to care that’s worthy of our family and friends and sustainably affordable.”

Blue Shield Balance features:

  •  In-language Concierge Customer Care service that features comprehensive multi-language support. 
  •  Customized Welcome Kit after enrollment that allows members to designate a caregiver to serve as their Blue Shield liaison.  
  •  $45 Monthly Allowance for Over-the-Counter Items on a personalized benefit card that can be used to purchase over-the-counter drugs and health-related products at stores like CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. Items can also be ordered by phone or online.
  •  Healthy Grocery benefit for eligible chronically ill members*, giving those who qualify a $25 monthly allowance on their personalized benefit card to purchase healthy and nutritious foods and produce. 
  •  Part D Insulin Savings Program, which provides members with select insulin drugs at an affordable and predictable cost of no more than a $35 monthly copay.

Additionally, Blue Shield Balance includes broad coverage for services not covered by Original Medicare such as:

  • Routine dental and vision care
  • Teladoc virtual care
  • Routine podiatry care
  • Transportation services with six one-way trips per year to plan-approved, health-related locations 
  • $50,000 combined annual limit for covered emergency care or urgently needed services outside the United States and its territories 
  • Annual physical exam 

Like other Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans in Los Angeles County, Blue Shield Balance provides $0 cost share for key medical benefits including primary care physician and specialist office visits, Medicare-covered preventative services, inpatient hospital care, outpatient surgery in an ambulatory surgical center, and urgent care services. Blue Shield Balance members will have access to the same robust provider network made available with other Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans in Los Angeles County. 

Medicare’s Annual Election Period is October 15, 2021, to December 7, 2021. For more information about Blue Shield’s Medicare plan offerings, please visit or call (800) 353-1118 [TTY: 711], between 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. seven days a week from October 1st through March 31st**.


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 Shield Association with over 4.5 million members, over 7,500 employees and more than $21 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 $150 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in the last four years to have an impact on California communities. 

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*The benefits mentioned are part of special supplemental benefits available in select plans. Not all plan members will qualify. Refer to the Evidence of Coverage for details and eligibility requirements.

** From April 1st through September 30th, hours of operation are 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. Monday-Friday.