Blue Cross Adds CA Small Biz Health Plans

January 25, 2005 ( - Blue Cross of California hopes to reach an estimated 500,000 uninsured small businesses through its newly unveiled BeneFits program, the company said in a news release.

A Blue Cross news release said the new offering consists of a portfolio of five small-employer health plans for California businesses with two to 50 employees and that the plans are offered through Blue Cross or its affiliate BC Life & Health Insurance Company.

The BeneFits portfolio offers four Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans and one Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan, according to the announcement. The plans provide a choice of deductibles and coverage levels, free wellness programs, discounts for health-related products and services and other lifestyle resources. Premiums may vary by employee plan selection, age, county of residence and other factors.

“Segments of the uninsured, such as small business owners and employees, have unique challenges and needs,” said Brian Sassi, general manager of Small Group services for Blue Cross, in the news release “BeneFits is designed to make qualification and administration of employer-sponsored coverage easier and more affordable by providing options that were previously unavailable.”

The news release said that under BeneFits:

  • employer contributions are half of the industry average, beginning at 25% or $50 per month
  • employee participation requirements are reduced to 60% (15% less than the traditionally 75%)
  • coverage is guaranteed (you cannot be turned down due to health reasons)
  • rates are guaranteed for 12 months
  • savings on integrated Workers’ Compensation (approximately 10%)
  • potential reduction of payroll taxes
  • coverage options for part-time employees.

For more information on BeneFits from Blue Cross employers can contact their local agent, call toll free at 1 800-999-2273 or visit .