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Blue Shield of California Statement from President & CEO Paul Markovich Regarding the Better Care Reconciliation Act

SAN FRANCISCO (June 26, 2017) — Our mission at Blue Shield of California is to ensure that all Californians have access to high quality health care at an affordable price. It is the standard against which we measure all health care policy proposals. Unfortunately, the current Better Care Reconciliation Act does not meet that standard and therefore we oppose it.

Under the Affordable Care Act, 5 million Californians have obtained meaningful, and potentially life-saving, access to health care — many for the first time. This bill would put coverage out of reach or even take coverage away from far too many of them. California is not alone. States all across the country would not be able to make up for the dramatic cuts in federal Medicaid funding and would be forced to take people off the program or to reduce benefits. This is not an acceptable outcome.

While the bill takes important steps to stabilize the individual commercial market, the reduction in financial assistance and the elimination of help for paying out-of-pocket costs eventually would mean that many would not be able to afford the care they need. For example, the revised tax credit would be based on a high-deductible plan, which would require a deductible of $7,350 under current rules. When the cost sharing reduction program ends, a person earning $16,600 a year could face a deductible of more than 40 percent of their household income on top of their premium costs. While the bill provides some funding that could alleviate these changes, it is not sufficient and it is not permanent.

The proposed legislation attempts to reduce the federal government’s fiscal burden of providing health care, and we fully support that goal. The status quo is not a viable long-term option. We need reforms that actually drive down health care cost trends so that high quality health care is affordable for everyone — including individuals, employers and state governments — not just the federal government.

Therefore, while we encourage senators to vote “no” on this bill in its current form, we also encourage Congress to continue their efforts to reform health care. There are ways to change the current system and make it sustainably affordable and fiscally responsible in the long-term, while preserving coverage for the most vulnerable among us. Please continue the conversation until we get to a bill that does just that.

Contact: Lauren Bartlett, 415-229-5359, media@blueshieldca.com

About Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 4 million members, 6,800 employees and more than $17 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare health care service plans in California. The company’s mission is to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality care at an affordable price. Blue Shield has contributed more than $450 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002. Contact your local agent or broker about Blue Shield of California products and services, or visit www.blueshieldca.com.

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6/8/2017
Paul Markovich, Blue Shield of California President and CEO, Letter to Covered California on Instructions for Filing 2018 Rates

 

6/6/2017
Blue Shield of California Announces Steve Shearer as Vice President and General Manager of Small Business

WOODLAND HILLS, CA (June 6, 2017) — Steve Shearer has joined Blue Shield of California as vice president and general manager of Small Business. He is responsible for the management, performance and delivery of medical and specialty products to the health plan’s employer groups with 1-100 employees.

5/22/2017
Blue Shield Releases 2016 Mission Report

SAN FRANCISCO (May 22, 2017) — Blue Shield of California today released its annual Mission Report, which summarizes the company’s results for 2016 and demonstrates the nonprofit health plan’s commitment to advancing its mission

5/18/2017
Blue Shield of California Announces HungChing Chan as Vice President of Enterprise Analytics and Informatics

SAN FRANCISCO (May 18, 2017) — HungChing Chan has joined Blue Shield of California as vice president of Enterprise Analytics and Informatics. She will be responsible for advancing the analytics and informatics program across the enterprise, enabling the nonprofit health plan to increase efficiency, mitigate risk, identify medical cost savings opportunities and spur growth.

5/15/2017
Blue Shield of California Announces Kimberley Goode as Senior Vice President of External Affairs

SAN FRANCISCO (May 15, 2017) — Kimberley Goode has joined Blue Shield of California as senior vice president of External Affairs. She will provide strategic leadership in corporate communications, government affairs and corporate citizenship, and will be responsible for building relationships that help advance the nonprofit health plan’s mission.

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