Blue Shield Offers New CA Small Firm Plans

December 16, 2004 ( - The Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company will add a trio of new plans at lower prices to its small group product portfolio on January 1, 2005.

A news release said that Shield Spectrum PPO Plan Zero Deductible-Value will be the first no-deductible Blue Shield Life plan with a low premium, immediate coverage and 50% coinsurance for most covered services.

Blue Shield Life also will offer two new high-deductible PPO plans that are compatible with health savings accounts (HSAs). Shield Spectrum PPO Savings Plan 1250 will be available to small groups (two to 50 eligible employees), and Shield Spectrum PPO Savings Plan 2600 will be available to groups of 51-299 eligible employees, according to the announcement.

The new plans offer coverage for preventive benefits and a choice of providers, the company said. Members who enroll in any of these two plans and who are eligible to open a HSA can use pre-tax HSA funds to pay for qualified medical expenses, including copays, deductibles, dental services, eye exams, and alternative services such as acupuncture.

Employers may select the vendor to administer their employees’ health savings accounts or use Blue Shield of California’s preferred HSA vendor, Wells Fargo Institutional Trust Services. In addition, Blue Shield is expanding its PlanSelect program, allowing employers to customize various plan combinations to suit their needs.

More information is at .