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Blue Shield of California Provides More Affordable Health Plan Options in More Counties for CalPERS Members in 2023

Nonprofit health plan’s Trio Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) expands into seven new counties; Trio members can join Shared Patient Savings Program

For more than 20 years, Blue Shield of California has been serving California’s public employees with high-quality affordable health care offerings and, in 2023, the nonprofit health plan continues to expand its offerings to serve more CalPERS members.

Blue Shield is expanding its low-cost Trio plan to seven new counties in 2023.  They are Butte, Kern, Kings, Monterey, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Tulare counties. The Butte County and Monterey County expansions are still pending approval from the California Department of Managed Health Care.


Additionally in 2023, Blue Shield’s Access+ plan will be offered in the 11 additional counties of Alpine, Calaveras, Inyo, Lake, Modoc, Mono, Plumas, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, and Tuolumne counties. The new regions bring the total number of counties served by Blue Shield’s Access+ plan to 51 of the 58 counties in California. 

As Blue Shield’s geographic reach increases to serve more CalPERS members, the Access+ premium is decreasing by 6.4% in 2023, and Blue Shield’s Trio premium and Medicare premium will increase by just 2.4 and 2.5%, respectively. These rate changes are the result of a close collaboration between Blue Shield and CalPERS to help make health care more affordable.

“As a nonprofit, mission-driven health plan, Blue Shield is always looking for ways to increase value for our members, both in premium cost savings and added benefits within our plans,” said Dan Prettyman, vice president of Blue Shield’s Select Markets team that supports CalPERS and its members.

Trio continues to be among the most affordable plans offered to CalPERS members while providing additional quality services such as:

  • 24/7 virtual consults.
  • Virtual medical and behavioral health appointments at no additional cost.
  • Pharmacy delivery at no additional cost.
  • Meal delivery programs and non-emergency transport services for qualified members recovering from serious illness.

Sharing Drug Cost Savings with Members

In 2023, CalPERS Trio members will be able to participate in Blue Shield’s Shared Patient Savings program. Blue Shield will share an amount equivalent to the average of one-month plan savings if a member switches to a lower-cost alternative drug after talking with their doctor. The savings will be delivered in a debit card up to a maximum of $250 per drug class. Blue Shield’s Shared Patient Savings program is pending approval from the California Department of Managed Health Care.

This program is part of Blue Shield of California’s innovative collaboration with Gemini Health, which empowers prescribers with real-time information about medications and lower-cost options so that they can discuss with their patients and collaborate to reduce drug costs.

“Blue Shield’s efforts like this help to improve cost transparency and shape the future of health care for the benefit of our members,” Prettyman said. “We are thrilled to provide this option for CalPERS members, who work tirelessly to serve Californians every day.”

CalPERS is the largest public-employer purchaser of health benefits in California and the second largest employer-purchaser in the nation after the federal government. CalPERS’ membership represents Blue Shield’s largest commercial HMO client.