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Individual & Family Health Insurance
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Welcome to

Mission and Values

As a not-for-profit health plan, Blue Shield is guided by our mission and values, which encourage innovation and enable us to be a catalyst for constructive change.

Our mission and values are embodied in our proposal to guarantee health coverage for all Californians, the first time a major health plan has called for universal coverage.

Our Mission

To ensure all Californians have access to high-quality health care at a reasonable price.

Our Values

  • We do the right thing.
  • We place the customers at the center of what we do.
  • We keep promises.
  • We are creative and take risks.
  • We create an environment that promotes personal, professional and team fulfillment.
  • We are responsible for maintaining Blue Shield’s heritage.

Fast Facts

  • Year founded: 1939
  • Service area: California
  • Annual revenue: $8.9 billion
  • Total employees: 4,800
  • Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer: Bruce G. Bodaken
  • Blue Shield is a California not-for-profit mutual benefit corporation
  • National affiliation: Independent Member of the BlueCross BlueShield Association
  • Corporate Name: California Physicians’ Service
  • Blue Shield of California Foundation: Blue Shield donated $100 million over the last three years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation to fund nonprofit organizations that improve access to quality health care in California.


The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently awarded Blue Shield an “Excellent” rating for service and clinical quality for its HMO and Point of Service (POS) lines of business.

“Excellent” accreditation status is reserved for the best health plans in the nation and is only awarded to those plans that meet or exceed NCQA’s rigorous requirements for consumer protection and quality improvement and deliver excellent clinical care. Review Blue Shield’s NCQA Health Plan Report Card atĀ

Financial Strength Ratings (as of July 2008)

  • A rating from Standard and Poor’s for Blue Shield of California
  • A (excellent) rating from AM Best for California Physicians’ Service
  • A (excellent) rating by Ratings for California Physicians’ Service



California Medical Association House of Delegates creates California Physicians’ Service (CPS) on Dec. 18 by a vote of 114 to 12.


Articles of Incorporation filed with the Secretary of State on Feb. 2; CPS begins marketing service to the public on March 6. Coverage for first group commences two months later.


In first year of operation, 20,000 Californians subscribe and 5,000 physicians join the pioneer prepaid healthcare service plan.


CPS offers first health plan in the nation with coverage for pre-existing conditions under group programs.


CPS is a founder of the National Association of Blue Shield Plans (later renamed the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association).


Individual and family health plan membership offered through non-group programs.


Company introduces first catastrophic coverage in the nation.


California Physicians’ Insurance Corporation Life (since renamed Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company), a Blue Shield wholly owned life and disability insurance subsidiary, is formed.


Blue Shield launches experimental programs to provide post-hospitalization nursing home care.


Medicare supplement and small group programs introduced.


Eye care benefits covering exams, frames and lenses are introduced.


Blue Shield becomes the first health plan to cover a heart transplant (Stanford University, May 16, 1984).


Blue Shield initiates case management to help subscribers receive optional types of care for long-term illness.


Blue Shield establishes a health maintenance organization (HMO).


Blue Shield becomes the first health plan in California to offer online benefits and enrollment information.

With Access+ HMOSM, Blue Shield becomes the first health plan in California to offer members direct access to specialists in their physician’s medical group.


Blue Shield acquires CareAmerica, becoming the first to convert a for-profit HMO into a not-for-profit HMO.


Blue Shield offers IFP OnlineSM, the first online enrollment system for agents.

Blue Shield launches mylifepath.comSM, an online health management tool.


Blue Shield offers a guided imagery program to pre-surgical patients, and becomes the first health plan to connect doctors and members online.

California’s first cross border HMO, Access Baja, is introduced.


Blue Shield becomes the first health plan to propose statewide universal coverage.


CPIC Life is re-named Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company (Blue Shield Life).

Active Choice is introduced, the first comprehensive Blue Shield healthcare product licensed by the California Department of Insurance.


Blue Shield celebrates its 60th anniversary and now serves 3.3 million Californians.

In an effort to address rising hospital costs, a smaller network is created for CalPERS members that will save $30 million in hospital costs in 2005.

A comprehensive provider network was established for TriWest to care for military personnel, their families and surviving dependents.


Blue Shield becomes new HMO carrier for the California Correctional Peace Officers’ Association (CCPOA) Medical Plan.

Blue Shield awarded San Francisco Chamber of Commerce’s Excellence in Business Award (EBBIE) for its strong growth, string of excellent ratings, innovative products, policy leadership and investments in people and communities.


Blue Shield launches new “We (Shield) You” brand campaign, highlighting problems in healthcare and insurance, and Blue Shield’s methods to address them. The campaign included television, billboard and online advertising, and video “Chat Box” events.

The Motion Picture Industry Health Plan (MPIHP) selected Blue Shield of California to serve its more than 95,000 indemnity plan participants.


Blue Shield supports Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s health reform proposal.

California Health Care Coalition selects Blue Shield of California as exclusive health plan partner to improve the quality and cost of health care for its members.


Blue Shield opens new 20-acre, environmentally friendly facility in Lodi, Calif. making Blue Shield Lodi’s largest private employer.

Blue Shield launches online provider quality and satisfaction tool to make hospital and HMO medical group selection easier for members


Blue Shield continues to receive many awards for our industry-leading programs and services. Examples include:

2009 Awards

American Business Awards

  • FinalistĀ - Insurance Marketing Campaign

The Webby Awards

  • Nominee – Best Insurance Website

Best of Blue Awards

  • Best Business-to-Business Communications – Sales Activator
  • Best Consumer Marketing – Uncovered Campaign
  • Best New Account Marketing – Suite Deal

Applied Art Interactive Awards

  • Best Financial Services

American In-house Design Awards

  • Certificate of Excellence – Sales Activator
  • Certificate of Excellence – Wellvolution
  • Certificate of Excellence – Medicare Invite

Showcase of Print Excellence

  • Bronze – Broker Resources
  • Gold – Sales Activator
  • Bronze & Silver – Wellvolution

Interactive Media Awards

  • Best in Class Insurance Website
  • Top Ten Website of the Year

Internet Advertising Competition

  • Best Insurance Website
  • Best Insurance Interactive Application
  • Best Health Care Email Messaging

World Wide Web Health Awards

  • Gold – Insurance Website
  • Best Interactive Site

ADDY Awards (NY Chapter)

  • Gold- Mixed Media Campaign
  • Silver – Microsite

2008 Awards

The Webby Awards

  • Nominee for Best Insurance Website

ad:tech Awards

  • Best Integrated Campaign Finalist: Chat Box
  • People’s Choice Award: Best Banner Ad
  • Finalist – Best Multi-Cultural Campaign for Latino Initiative

New York Festivals Innovative Advertising Awards

  • Best Banking/Financial Services/Insurance Microsite – Bronze World Medal: Chat Box Microsite
  • Best Integrated Campaign – Finalist Certificate: Chat Box

Web Marketing Association Awards

  • Best Insurance Website 2008

Ad Age Hispanic Creative Advertising

  • Bronze Medal – Interactive Campaign for Latino Initiative

ANA Multicultural Awards

  • Best Hispanic Campaign for Latino Initiative

eHealthcare Leadership

  • Platinum – Best Web 2.0 for Chat Box Microsite
  • Silver – Best Intranet for HR:Web

New York Festivals Global Awards

  • Global Award – Integrated Campaign for Chat Box Campaign
  • Grand Global Award – Communication to Consumer for Chat Box Microsite

PRism Awards

  • First Place – Multi-cultural Marketing – Healthy Families
  • First Place – Multi-cultural Brochure – Healthy Families
  • First Place – Healthcare Program – Healthy Families
  • Runner Up – Ongoing Product or Service – Healthy Families
  • Runner Up – Special Purpose/Creative Materials Graphic Illustration – Healthy Families

San Francisco Gallery Impression Awards

  • First Place – Printing/Production – Suite Deal

2007 Awards

Best of Blue Awards

  • National Provider Identifier (NPI) Campaign: Federal Employee Open Enrollment Campaign

Brand Excellence Award: Unaided Brand Awareness Increase