Blue Shield of California Canceling Grandfathered Plans in 2016…

Blue Shield of California Drops Bombshell on Agents and Members

Remember when President Obama said that if you like your plan you can keep your plan?  If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor?  Well that all hinged on one’s ability to keep their Grandfathered Status plan indefinitely.  For four years prior I was one of the brokers that said this would come to an end as soon as the risk pools became unsustainable for the insurer.  As people migrated over time OUT OF these risk pools and as rates continued to climb there would come a time when these plans were no longer sustainable for the insurer.

The Affordable Care Act by just about any measure unless you are on Medicaid is quickly becoming unaffordable and the choices of providers is shrinking while rates continue to skyrocket.  Not what was promised.  So for all of you who are currently on a Grandfathered status plan with Blue Shield you will be receiving notification shortly that your plan will terminate December 31st, 2016 and you will be forced to move into an ACA Compliant plan with either Blue Shield of California or some other insurer available via the Cover California website.

Below is an exact copy of the email our office received regarding the upcoming changes.  If you have questions about your domestic plan with Blue Shield you will need to contact Customer Service direct at (888)  256-3650.

Copy of Email Notice Received From Blue Shield of California

“Starting the week of June 20, 2016 we will begin sending notices to 2,062 grandfathered plan subscribers to inform them that their current Blue Shield of California health plan will no longer be available after December 31, 2016. To ensure a smooth transition for these subscribers, we will automatically enroll them into an ACA-compliant plan with the most benefit coverage for the lowest monthly premium on January 1, 2017, unless they choose to enroll into a different plan. These plans are being withdrawn from the market due to low membership.

If your clients wish to keep their new plans, they can simply continue paying the new monthly premium. Those who wish to change their plans must do so before December 15, 2016 for coverage to start on January 1, 2017.

Subscribers do not have to take any action at this time. You and your clients will receive details about the new plans, our 2017 Exclusive PPO network and 2017 open enrollment as the open enrollment period approaches.

It is important that subscribers check to see if their current doctors are in the Exclusive PPO network because if they choose a provider outside of the 2017 Exclusive PPO Network, they could end up paying a higher share of the cost for any covered services. Members can start searching for 2017 network providers using the find-a-provider tool.

We are withdrawing the following 11 California Department of Insurance (CDI) and six Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) plans in 2017:

CDI Plans DMHC Plans
Active Start Plan 25-G Shield Spectrum PPO Plan 500-G
Active Start Plan 25 Generic Rx-G Shield Spectrum PPO Plan 750-G
Vital Shield Plus 400-G Shield Spectrum PPO Plan 1500-G
Vital Shield Plus 900-G Shield Spectrum PPO Plan 5500-G
Vital Shield Plus 2900-G Shield Spectrum PPO Plan 1500-G Guaranteed Issue Coverage-G
Blue Shield Life PPO Plan 1500-G Shield Spectrum PPO Plan 2000-G Guaranteed Issue Coverage-G
Blue Shield Life PPO Plan 2000-G  
Blue Shield Life PPO Plan 1500 Guaranteed Issue Coverage-G  
Blue Shield Life PPO Plan 2000 Guaranteed Issue Coverage-G  
Shield Savings 4000 Guaranteed Issue Coverage-G  
Shield Spectrum PPO Plan 5000 Guaranteed Issue Coverage-G  

Starting on January 1, 2017, these subscribers will have a special enrollment period that gives them the option to remain in their new Blue Shield plan or switch to another health plan carrier until March 1, 2017, 60 days after their current coverage ends. Blue Shield will also provide information to subscribers about financial assistance that may be available through CoveredCalifornia.”

Foreign Nationals May Have Other Options

logo-geoblueIf you are living in the state of California and you are from another country and you own a business, a home, or work for a U.S. Employer then you may have options for an International plan that may meet or exceed your current plan with Blue Shield of California.  Here is a typical example of someone who may be eligible for International coverage which would include coverage within the United States…


Cigna logo color_HORZ_01_trasparentYou are a Mexican Citizen whose primary home is in Mexico.  You own a home and or business in Southern California.  You spend time in both countries and even abroad.  Because you own property you may be eligible for coverage with GeoBlue and most certainly Cigna Global.  GeoBlue offers the Xplorer Premier plan which is a full global plan that provides exceptional coverage abroad and in the United States.  There are many hispanic families for example that are living in California that may be eligible for this very plan.  Whether you choose a global plan from GeoBlue or Cigna Global you will most certainly be forced by Blue Shield of California to make a change by years end.

If you are a foreign national living in California and you have been insured with Blue Shield of California please feel free to reach out to me.  I specialize in International Coverage for both out-bound U.S. Citizens as well as most foreign nationals.  Call me at (307) 690-0427 or send me an email to “”.  If you are ready to shop visit our website at

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