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Blue Shield of California Expands CalPERS NetValue Service Area

- Lower Rate Plan Now Available in Imperial, San Francisco, San Mateo and San Luis Obispo Counties -

SAN FRANCISCO, July 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Shield of California announced today that it will expand the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) NetValue(SM) service area as of January 1, 2010 to include the counties of Imperial, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo and the northern part of San Mateo. First offered in 2008, the NetValue HMO plan offers CalPERS members a lower rate HMO plan option in exchange for using a smaller network of medical groups. Participating providers in the NetValue network for the four new counties include, Imperial County Physicians in Imperial County; Brown & Toland, Hill Physicians and Chinese Community in San Francisco; Heritage Coastal Communities in San Luis Obsipo; and Brown & Toland and Hill Physicians in San Mateo. In order to participate in this network, medical groups must meet basic cost efficiency criteria and must meet or exceed quality standards based on nationally-recognized quality metrics.

"Providing effective care while controlling rising healthcare costs is absolutely critical," said Tom McCaffery, vice president of CalPERS Sector at Blue Shield of California. "Expanding our CalPERS NetValue network allows us to offer more people this lower cost option without sacrificing quality."

As of May 2009, the NetValue HMO plan covered over 110,000 lives in the counties of: Fresno, Kings, Madera, Orange and Yolo counties, and parts of El Dorado, Kern, Los Angeles, Nevada, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. When the plan is offered in the four new counties in 2010, an additional 23,000 CalPERS Blue Shield members will be eligible to sign up. Rates vary by region, but Blue Shield's NetValue HMO plan will be very competitively priced throughout the state. The NetValue basic plan will be the lowest priced health plan option for CalPERS Basic members who are state employees.

"At CalPERS, we are committed to seeking solutions to keep health care affordable while improving quality for our members and employers," said Gregory Franklin, Assistant Executive Officer, CalPERS Health Benefits Branch. "Working with Blue Shield of California to expand the NetValue network is another step in our journey toward that goal."

In addition to the expansion of the NetValue service area, Blue Shield continues to work with CalPERS on several innovative cost and quality initiatives, including an e-Prescribing pilot, a "virtual integrated model" pilot, and new product offerings. The e-Prescribing pilot will enhance patient safety and reduce costs by making it easier for physicians to access and input prescription information. The "virtual integrated model" pilot in the Sacramento region pairs Blue Shield of California with CalPERS, Hill Physicians Medical Group and Catholic Healthcare West to enhance service, and reduce costs for CalPERS members. In 2010, Blue Shield will also offer a new competitively priced Group Medicare Advantage product for CalPERS Members.

Original source at

Background on Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan dedicated to providing Californians with access to high quality care at a reasonable price. Founded in 1939, it now has 3.4 million members, 4,800 employees, one of the largest provider networks and more than 20 office locations, providing a wide range of commercial and government products throughout the state. The company has contributed $100 million over the past three years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation to fund nonprofit organizations that improve access to quality health care in California. Contact your local agent or broker for more information about Blue Shield products and services, or visit the Blue Shield web site at

Background on CalPERS

CalPERS is the nation's largest public pension fund with more than $180 billion in market assets. It provides retirement benefits to more than 1.6 million State, school and local public employees, retirees and their families, and health benefits to nearly 1.3 million members. For more on CalPERS, visit

    CONTACT:  Erica PerngCorporate Communications Manager
    (415) 229-6171

SOURCE Blue Shield of California
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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