OAKLAND, Calif. – Blue Shield of California today launched a public campaign asking Californians to speak up and make their voices heard by telling the state to undo its failed process for choosing health plans to serve Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
The state’s preliminary decision intends to award contracts to national, for-profit companies that are beholden to Wall Street and lack engagement with local communities. The decision puts access to quality care at risk for the millions of Californians who depend on Medi-Cal. Blue Shield of California has appealed the state’s decision, which did not include any California-based nonprofit health plans.
The state also failed to provide meaningful opportunities for the voices of the state’s Medi-Cal beneficiaries, physicians, and organizations that serve local communities to be heard in the process.
The public campaign includes statewide digital advertising that underscores the consequences for Medi-Cal beneficiaries if the decision is not reversed. It also includes a website, StandUpForHealthcare.com, that provides information about the decision and how all Californians can respond and help their fellow residents.
In an “Open Letter to Californians,” Blue Shield of California President and CEO Paul Markovich noted this year’s historic Medi-Cal procurement was an opportunity to address the shortcomings and inequities in the old system and create one that is innovative and advances health equity.
“But that didn’t happen,” he wrote. “It was a breach of trust with the very communities whose health and lives depend on Medi-Cal. Californians deserve better.”
Blue Shield encourages Californians to learn about this important and urgent issue, and to insist that the state revisit the process and make choices that meet people’s needs and the state’s goals. Contact information can be found online here.
“The State of California undertook this procurement with great intentions, but the actual process has failed to match their words,” said Kristen Cerf, President and CEO of Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, a subsidiary of Blue Shield of California that serves Medi-Cal beneficiaries. “The message of this campaign is that it’s not too late for the state to change course and make choices that will advance innovation and health equity for everyone.”
About Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California strives to create a healthcare system worthy of its family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a tax-paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with 4.7 million members, 7,800 employees, and $22.9 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid, and Medicare healthcare service plans in California. The company has contributed $120 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation in the last three years to have an impact on California communities.
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