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Blue Shield of California, Aspire Health Team up to Offer Low-Cost, High-Quality Benefits Plan Throughout Monterey County

Trio HMO benefits plan expands access to affordable care as first widely available HMO option in Monterey County.

MONTEREY, Calif. (October 24, 2022) – Blue Shield of California and Aspire Health today announced a new health maintenance organization (HMO) benefits plan for Monterey County residents that provides access to comprehensive and cost-saving care through better coordination and communication among the health plan, doctors, and hospitals.

The new Blue Shield Trio HMO is based on the nonprofit health plan’s nationally recognized accountable care organization (ACO) model that provides members access to quality care that’s more affordable. This collaboration also builds on the health plan’s Health Reimagined initiative, which was launched in 2020 to help transform the healthcare system across the state, bringing community health advocates and expanded mental health support to Monterey County.

“As a nonprofit, mission-driven health plan, we are always looking for ways to create better care experiences for members while saving them money,” said Tim Lieb, senior vice president at Blue Shield. “We are putting our mission into action by working with Aspire Health to bring a high-value option to members in Monterey County.”

Trio HMO members will have access to Montage Health and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS). Both systems offer an array of health services from prevention to acute care, including Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, robust physician networks, urgent care clinics, outpatient services, and more. Features of the Trio HMO plan include:

  • Shield Concierge: live support from a team of professionals including registered nurses, health coaches, social workers, pharmacists, and more
  • $0 copay for virtual medical and behavioral health appointments
  • Blue Shield’s Wellvolution platform for digital health and wellness apps
  • Meal delivery and non-emergency transportation support for qualifying members recovering from serious illness

This high-value option will be the first widely available HMO in the county, offering residents and workers access to care at a lower monthly premium than most PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) plans at a time when many consumers are taking a cautious approach to budgeting. While some HMO plans have existed in Monterey County for narrow groups of employees, Trio is available to all local employer-sponsored plans as well as individual and family plans across nearly all of Monterey County.

“Aspire Health’s mission is to improve the health of our community, and part of that is to help bring lower-cost, high-value healthcare coverage to our area,” said Tyler Munson, chief executive officer, Aspire Health. “This partnership will provide easier access to exemplary providers in our community so that they can enhance their health locally.”

Trio HMO is available to new commercial and individual customers in the expanded service area, for effective dates as early as January 1, 2023. To learn more and search for doctors, hospitals, and specialists within the network, visit Explore the Trio ACO Network.

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 4.7 million members, 7,800 employees, and $22.9 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 $120 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in the last three years to have an impact on California communities.

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About Aspire Health Plan

Aspire Health Plan is a local, nonprofit, Medicare Advantage health plan. It is a partnership between Montage Health and Salinas Valley Healthcare System. Started in 2014, Aspire was created to provide better healthcare options for those eligible for Medicare, and has recently expanded to serving the commercial population in a partnership with plans like Blue Shield of California. Aspire serves thousands of members in Monterey County, focusing on improving health and inspiring every individual to live their best life. For more information visit

About Montage Health

Montage Health is the nonprofit parent company of a family of organizations dedicated to improving lives by delivering exceptional care and inspiring the pursuit of optimal health. Through its subsidiaries and its partnerships with doctors and other clinicians, healthcare and community organizations, and, most importantly community members, Montage Health is dedicated to care that is coordinated across all care settings to meet each person’s goals and needs. Montage Health’s family of companies includes Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Montage Medical Group, MoGo Urgent Care, Aspire Health, Montage Health Foundation, and Montage Wellness Center. For more information visit

About Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the region through an integrated network of health care initiatives, services and facilities. In addition to an acute care, public district hospital licensed for 263 beds, the system includes Salinas Valley Medical Clinic, a multi-location clinic expanding access to primary and specialty care, and offers 13 urgent care locations. SVMHS is one of the area’s largest employers with a staff of more than 2000, and is a leader in providing nationally recognized quality care. Collaboration is an important operating principle for SVMHS in such key areas as our Level III NICU which is operated in a joint venture with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford; The Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes, partnership with UCSF; Aspire Health Plan, Monterey County’s only Medicare Advantage program; and Blue Zones Project Monterey County, building a community where people live longer and live healthier. For more information, visit