January 2021

COVID-19 vaccines are here: resources for employers

Blue Shield of California is committed to supporting our employer groups and members through the COVID-19 pandemic.

We understand there are a lot of questions about where and when members can get their COVID-19 vaccine. This information is evolving daily. To help guide you and your clients, we created a guide on where to find COVID-19 vaccines, by county, on the Resources page of our COVID-19 site for brokers and employers.

Member resources are updated here, including comprehensive FAQs regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. In the coming weeks, Blue Shield will start sending member touch points regarding COVID-19, including:
  • Reminder to stay safe while waiting for the vaccine
  • Targeted communications when they are eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccine
  • Reminder that the COVID-19 vaccine is available at no cost
Here are some resources we recently shared with to help clients and members sort through the facts about the vaccines: As the situation continues to evolve, we will provide you with updates on our latest COVID-19 resources including our member and client outreach plans.

January 2021

Our collaboration with hospitals is making billing and payment easier for patients and providers

In collaboration with OODA Heath and CommonSpirit Health (Dignity Health), Blue Shield is expanding an innovative Member Payment program to 26 hospitals throughout the state. Through this program, Blue Shield is addressing one of the most vexing issues in health care for members: billing. Members who receive care at facilities in the Member Payment program will experience a faster, more concise, and transparent billing process, including additional options on how they pay for their portion of the bill.

Learn more about the Member Payment program

While Blue Shield already is rated among the top carriers in the nation for customer satisfaction (Insure.com), participants in the Member Payment program reported even higher satisfaction scores (93%), so we know we are on the right path.

The pilot and expansion of this program are part of a roadmap to easier and faster claims processing, and you’ll be hearing more about it as part of our broader Health Reimagined initiative.

Related: Blue Shield of California CEO Paul Markovich, speaking at the J.P. Morgan health care conference earlier this month, addressed four changes that would cut U.S. health care spending by $100 billion per year. These stories, and others, have been published through our News Center. You can keep up to date with this, and other Blue Shield news, by subscribing here to our News Center.

January 2021

Wellvolution expands programs for tobacco cessation

We are excited to help members achieve their 2021 health and wellness goals with three tobacco cessation programs that we offer as part of our Wellvolution platform - at no additional cost to our members:

Ø Clickotine®: a fully digital personalized program delivered through members’ smart phones to help them quit smoking.
  • Developed by doctors, scientists, and engineers, Clickotine® uses advanced science and technology to create a customized quit journey and adapts to members’ needs as they use the program
  • Clickotine® partners with Blue Shield to provide access to quit aids such as nicotine patches, lozenges and gum at no cost to the member
Ø EX Program by Truth Initiative®: developed in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, the EX Program, has helped over 895,000 tobacco users on their quit journeys and features:
  • A customized plan that learns and grows with each user
  • 1-on-1 coaching with an expert EX Coach to answer questions or give members tips to quit
  • Easy options to get nicotine patches, gum or lozenge mailed directly to members at no cost after speaking with an EX Coach
  • Online social network and optional support for expectant women/new moms
Ø QuitSmart Mindfully®: a live, virtual mindfulness program that includes Nicotine Replacement Therapy, NRT (gum or patches) at no cost to the member, plus:
  • 12 live, interactive, online sessions to help members reduce tobacco use
  • 2 free one-month supplies of Nicotine Replacement Therapy of choice, shipping and handling included
  • Access to weekly content and mindfulness practices via website and mobile app
  • Support from expert mindfulness teachers, or “Quit Mates” and a community to lean on including games and a meditation timer to build and sustain new mindfulness skills
Ø Learn more about tobacco cessation programs that we offer as part of our Wellvolution platform. 

Research has shown that smoking increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart disease and lung cancer – not to mention the possible risk of severe infection in COVID-19 patients. Encourage your clients to explore these programs aimed at providing cessation resources and support for their employees.

January 2021

Members rank Blue Shield among the best nationally – we want to hear more

First and foremost, Blue Shield wants to be a trusted advisor to its members. Last month, a nationwide survey ranked Blue Shield of California among the top 5 insurance companies for customer satisfaction, and rated Blue Shield first for claims.

Read more on the ranking, here.

We’re not resting there, however, and want to hear more from our members on how we can improve the Blue Shield experience. Starting next month, Blue Shield will be sending ForresterTM surveys to members asking them to “tell us your thoughts”. Each month, a random sample of members will receive the email, and a reminder two weeks later if they do not initially respond. We value their opinion and also respect their email inboxes; there will be only one reminder and member communication preferences are adhered to.

January 2021

Tools for the trusted advisor

Being a subject matter expert for your clients is fundamental to your work and, when the subject is Blue Shield of California, we want to ensure you are always in the know.
  • Plan Comparison Tool
    This tool allows you to quickly select from our portfolio medical, dental, or vision plans and compare key benefits side by side. These high-level comparisons are easy to share with clients before diving into more comprehensive plan documents (SBC, EOC, etc.).
  • Health plan documents
    Summary of Benefits (SOB), Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) documents for medical plans, pharmacy plans, dental plans, and life insurance plans are available in one location.
  • CVS Caremark
    Effective January 1, 2021 members can manage their pharmacy mail services directly through their blueshieldca.com account. Previously, a separate account through CVS was required. Here is a copy of the letter members will receive.
  • Reminder: CVS pharmacy changes for Jan. 1, 2021
    Effective January 1, 2021 all groups and members will have new pharmacy codes:
    BIN # 004336 | PCN # 7799333
    Pharmacies will request these codes, which are updated on new member ID cards.
  • Blue Shield News Center
    Stay informed of Blue Shield’s latest news, including press releases, leadership, health reform, innovation, and community engagement. Subscribe to receive updates here.