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Blue Shield of California Supports Members Through Life-Changing Health Journeys

The nonprofit health plan’s emphasis on member experience pays off in customer satisfaction recognition.
Kathy and Greg vacationing1
Kathy and Greg vacationing

Blue Shield of California members Kathy and Greg were visiting their daughter's college in Colorado when Greg experienced a medical emergency and was admitted to a nearby hospital. Out of state and away from their regular providers, Kathy called the number on the back of her member identification card.

"Blue Shield was fantastic," Kathy said. "They took care of everything."

This is just the latest example of the nonprofit health plan's efforts to provide members with care that is worthy of family and friends and sustainably affordable. That work is being recognized as Blue Shield was ranked No. 2 in California in J.D. Power's 2022 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study.

"While it's an honor to receive such high marks, the positive responses and stories from members have been even more meaningful," said Will Martin-Gill, vice president of product and customer strategy at Blue Shield of California. "Our ongoing work to deliver an exceptional experience for our members is paying off."

Those efforts include providing customer service teams tools that quickly put member information at their fingertips, reducing overall call time; making it easier for members to manage their benefit plans online; and engaging members to ensure they understand their benefits and plan value.

Kathy and Greg: Vacation turned upside down

Overwhelmed and worried for her husband, Kathy worked with a Blue Shield representative to quickly choose a hospital that met Greg's needs, allowing Kathy more time to be present with him. Over the following months, Blue Shield representatives dutifully answered Kathy's questions regarding surgeries, hospital admission, authorizations, scheduling, and billing. When they finally returned home to California, Blue Shield helped Kathy find a new medical group and primary care physician better suited for Greg's health needs.

Greg has a long road of treatments and procedures ahead, but the couple remains hopeful that one day they can return to Colorado to enjoy that fun trip they planned with their daughter.

"When members have more information about the benefits available to them, they have a better experience," said Martin-Gill. "It's our job to ensure they have that information right from the beginning, and we've made significant efforts to improve our member orientation."

Burt: Overcoming barriers to achieve health goals

Burt suffers from multiple chronic health conditions and depression. Getting to and from medical appointments at numerous clinics in Southern California was a challenge, especially after his bilateral knee surgeries. But that changed once he enrolled in Blue Shield's home-based care program through Landmark.

In his first home visit, a Landmark care navigator helped create a plan for Burt to achieve his health goals of losing weight and seeing an oncologist about the malignant tumor in his jaw.

Even with these goals in mind, there were still barriers. Burt didn't know how to deal with the tumor and was reluctant to visit the oncologist, fearful of the cost and traveling the distance to get there. His care navigator continued encouraging him to get medical care, and it worked. Finally convinced, Burt received transportation services through Blue Shield and began receiving radiation therapy.

"Blue Shield of California and Landmark were the best things that ever happened to me," Burt said.

Today, Burt's cancer is in remission. While there is still some discomfort, he can move his jaw and neck much more freely. His spirits are high, and he's eager to find a new job and return to work.

"Our continued focus on providing a high-quality member experience is an important part of our mission to create a healthcare system worthy of our family and friends and sustainably affordable," said Martin-Gill.