Blue Shield of California, Sansum Clinic and Cottage Health Expand Network Relationship to Serve Medicare Advantage Members

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (October 5, 2020) – Blue Shield of California Medicare Advantage plan members in Santa Barbara County will have in-network access to Sansum Clinic and Cottage Health beginning January 1, 2021.

The nonprofit health plan is expanding its network relationship with the two systems to serve Medicare beneficiaries in southern Santa Barbara County. With this addition, Blue Shield will now offer a Medicare Advantage plan in all of Santa Barbara County.

“We are excited to expand our provider network for our Medicare Advantage plan members as we continue to deliver on our commitment to offer beneficiaries access to quality, affordable care,” said Krista Bowers, general manager and vice president of Medicare for Blue Shield of California. “We look forward to our collaboration with Sansum Clinic and Cottage Health to help improve the health and wellness of our members.”

Sansum Clinic is the oldest and largest nonprofit outpatient healthcare provider on the California Central Coast, serving the residents in the region for nearly a century. The system includes more than 220 affiliated physicians who practice in 22 care facilities.

“We look forward to becoming a participating provider in Blue Shield’s Medicare Advantage plan to offer patients in-network access to Sansum Clinic’s 50 specialties and service lines,” said Marjorie Newman, MD, Sansum Clinic Medical Director. “We are continually looking for ways to expand access to care and improve our patients’ health and wellness.”

Cottage Health operates three hospitals in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez. The nonprofit hospital system has been serving Central Coast residents for 129 years.

“Cottage Health continually strives to offer all residents access to quality healthcare. We are pleased to help provide another option for Medicare beneficiaries in our community,” said Ron Werft, President and CEO of Cottage Health.

Medicare’s Annual Election Period is October 15, 2020 to December 7, 2020. Medicare beneficiaries can apply for a Medicare Supplement plan at any time. For more information about Blue Shield’s Medicare plan offerings, please visit

About Sansum Clinic 
Since its founding in 1921, Sansum Clinic has been improving the overall health of its patients by providing the latest innovations in equipment, technology, procedures and treatments. Sansum Clinic is the largest independent nonprofit healthcare organization between the Los Angeles Basin and the San Francisco Bay Area. With more than 220 affiliated physicians, Sansum Clinic serves more than 130,000 patients (800,000) annually at our 22 patient care facilities in south Santa Barbara County. To learn more, please visit

About Cottage Health 
The not-for-profit Cottage Health is the leader in providing advanced medical care to the Central Coast region.  Specialties include the Cottage Children’s Medical Center, Level 1 Trauma Center, Neuroscience Institute, Heart & Vascular Center, Center for Orthopedics, and Rehabilitation Hospital. The Cottage Health medical staff is comprised of more than 700 physicians, many with subspecialties typically found only at university medical centers. Last year, the Cottage Health hospitals in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley provided inpatient care for 21,000 people, treated 80,000 patients through their 24-hour emergency departments and helped deliver 2,100 newborns. 

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 Cross Blue Shield Association with over four million members, 6,800 employees and more than $20 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 $500 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002 to have an impact on California communities.
For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit


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