Fact Sheet

June 2018 | Download PDF

Our Story

At Blue Shield of California, we are passionate about creating a healthcare system that is worthy of our family and friends, and sustainably affordable. We’re focused on becoming our members’ trusted advisor, so they can focus on living healthy and fulfilling lives.

Blue Shield of California has helped provide access to high quality health care for nearly 80 years. We were founded in 1939 by a group of physicians who pioneered a prepaid healthcare plan to ensure families of any economic means could afford quality medical care. Today, we’re proud to be continuing their important work, offering a wide variety of health plan options to meet the healthcare needs of our members.

As a nonprofit health plan, we’re challenging the status quo through innovation and policy reform to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality care at an affordable price.  We are driven by our mission to support the needs of our members, not to maximize profits for shareholders. We voluntarily cap our net income at 2 percent of revenue, returning anything above that to our customers and the community.


Blue Shield of California is one of the state’s largest health plans, providing access to comprehensive healthcare services through medical, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare benefit plans. In 2017, we served 3,797,291 members, including:

  • 2,364,229 Employer Plan members
  • 767,513 Medicaid/Medicare members
  • 665,549 Individual and Family Plan members

We’re also a leading health plan on Covered California, the statewide marketplace offering health insurance to individuals and families under the Affordable Care Act.

Transforming Health Care 

Blue Shield of California’s provider network currently includes 58,000 physicians and more than 340 hospitals statewide. We’re committed to transforming the way health care is delivered, working with physicians and hospitals through innovative collaborations.  

We have established 42 Accountable Care Organization (ACO) partnerships across the state, working closely with physicians and hospitals to improve patient care while managing rising costs. Since 2010, Blue Shield’s ACO program has:

  • Decreased the number of days patients stay in the hospital by 16% 
  • Reduced hospital re-admissions by 13%
  • Saved more than $480 million in estimated healthcare costs

Other examples of Blue Shield’s efforts to transform health care include:

  • Investing $30 million in a multi-year collaboration with the California Medical Association to develop and support a new health care model that will bring health care into the digital age, tie pay to value and create a patient-centered experience through home- and community-based services.
  • Collaborating with Manifest MedEx, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health information exchanges, to advance secure health information sharing between providers, plans and ultimately consumers.
  • Providing home-based palliative care and 24/7 support to members with serious illness in all 58 counties in California - the only health plan in the state to offer this service.
  • Offering 24/7 house calls for chronically ill patients through a collaboration with Landmark, which delivers home-based medical and behavioral care and social support services.

Diverse Leadership and Team

  • 84 percent of Blue Shield of California’s 6,800 employees rated the company a great place to work in 2017.
  • Blue Shield was named as a Top Regional Company by Diversity Inc. in 2017
  • Women make up 68 percent of Blue Shield’s workforce
  • The company earned a 100 percent score on Human Rights Campaign’ Corporate Equality Index survey and was named one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ equality.
  • Blue Shield of California was recognized in 2017 as a 2020 Women on Boards Winning 'W' Company for championing board diversity.

Caring for Our Community

  • Blue Shield has donated more than $500 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002, including $39 million in 2017
  • The Foundation awarded $25 million in grants in 2017 to advance the well-being of all Californians, particularly our state’s most vulnerable populations.
  • 26,000 hours volunteered in 2017 by employees.
  • $474,000 total in employee donations to charities with matching gifts by Blue Shield in 2017.

Operating Responsibly

Blue Shield of California was recognized as one of 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute – the sixth time we have received the honor.

Financial Performance:

  • $17.68 Billion in revenue in 2017
  • $296 Million net income in 2017

Headquarters:  50 Beale St., San Francisco, 94105-1808. (415) 229-5000.  Blue Shield has announced its headquarters will move to Oakland in second half of 2019.

For more information about Blue Shield of California, please visit

Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.