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Overall Rating info icon info icon
4.0 ratings
Claims Processing
4.0 ratings
Customer Service
4.0 ratings
Value for Price
4.0 ratings
Website and Apps
4.0 ratings
% Who Would Recommend to a Friend
% Who Plan to Renew
AM Best Financial Strength Ratings info-icon info-icon July 01, 2021



A.M. Best's Financial Strength Rating is an independent opinion of an insurer's financial strength and ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations.

A.M. Best's rating is NOT used to calculate the overall score but it is important information to consider when choosing an insurance company.

Reasons for Buying

Customers of Blue Shield of California originally decided to purchase from the company for these reasons:
  • 30% It's a health plan my employer offers
  • 17% Offered best price
  • 12% Reputation
  • 12% Saw online ad
  • 9% Recommended by friend or family member
  • 8% Saw TV commercial
  • 7% My parent's health company
  • 4% I have/had other insurance with this company
  • 1% The company website and mobile apps are easy to use and helpful
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Customer Complaint Ratio

info icon
( Blue Shield of California’s customer complaint ratio for Individual Health insurance is 2.95 )
( Blue Shield of California’s customer complaint ratio for Group Health insurance is 0.80 )
0 1 3 10+
0 1 3 10+
Lower number is better
0 to 1.00
1.01 to 3.00
3.01 and above

Best health insurance companies 2021: Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California provides health plans in California and was founded in 1939. Blue Shield currently has 4.38 million members and employs roughly 6,800 people with annual revenue of around $20 billion. Blue Shield is based in Oakland, California and has roughly 65,000 physicians in their network across the state.

Blue Shield of California is part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield association, which is a national association of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross Blue Shield companies. The BCBS association provides healthcare coverage to more than 107 million members in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Nationwide, more than 96% of hospitals and 95% of doctors and specialists contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield companies which is more than any other insurer.

How Blue Shield of California stacks up

Blue Shield of California earned a Top 5 rating in our annual review of Best Health Insurance Companies. They got 4 out of 5 star ratings across the board in claims, price and customer service and 4-star ratings in website & apps.

When we asked Blue Shield of California customers if they would recommend the company to others, 83% said yes and 93% said they planned to renew their plan.

How likely to recommend?

  • 45%I would definitely recommend this company
  • 38%I would probably recommend this company
  • 12%Neutral
  • 3%I would not recommend this company
  • 2%I would probably not recommend this company

Would you renew?

93% Yes
7% No

Ratings on Website & Apps

  • Completely satisfied / Outstanding website & apps that give me what I need and more 40%
  • Fairly satisfied / Fulfills my needs OK 36%
  • Average website and apps 14%
  • Unsatisfied / website and/or apps are not fulfilling my needs 5%
  • Very unsatisfied / digital offering is severely lacking 2%

How do you prefer to deal with insurer and policy?

  • Phone 32%
  • In person 31%
  • Interactive website 21%
  • Mobile App 13%
  • Email 3%

Blue Shield of California coverages

  • Health insurance for individuals and families PPO and HMO
  • Health insurance via employers
  • Medicare plans, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Prescription plans
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life insurance

About Blue Shield

Blue Shield got its start in 1938 when the California Medical Association House of Delegates created California Physicians' Service (CPS). By 1940 over 20,000 Californians had subscribed and 5,000 physicians had joined the healthcare service plan.

Blue Shield became one of the founders of the National Association of Blue Shield Plans in 1946, which was later renamed the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

In 1961, Blue Shield hit 1,000,000 subscribers. They entered the health maintenance organization business by establishing Blue Shield HMO in Sacramento in 1988 and in 1989 Blue Shield entered its 50th year of business. It now serves nearly three million Californians with a provider network of over 36,000 Physician Members and nearly 240 Preferred Hospitals.

Blue Shield entered Medi-Cal and Medicaid with the acquisition of Care1st Health Plan in 2015.

Contact information

Corporate headquarters

Blue Shield of California

50 Beale St.

San Francisco, CA 94105

Member services: (800) 393-6130

In which states Blue Shield of California is available?

States in which Blue Shield of California is available

Other Companies to Consider: