Small Business Coverage

Blue Shield has delivered quality health coverage to California’s small businesses for over 80 years. Today, we are a top choice for small business PPO plans, with more than 40,000 small businesses relying on us for high-value plans with rich benefits and simple administration.

  • The right value—and values

    We believe in coverage worthy of our family and friends at a sustainably affordable price.



    Tiered PPO and HMO options to satisfy every need and budget



    Reliable delivery, rich benefits, and thoughtful support



    Responsive, caring member service support; easy enrollment and admin tools for you

Where to start when choosing a plan

  • Will benefits help you stay competitive?

    Enhanced benefits packages can give companies an edge when competing for (and retaining) talent. Once hired, healthier employees are more productive employees. Consider the level of competition for talent in your field, and what benefits would attract talent, as you shop for coverage.

  • Consider your employee population

    A tech start-up staffed with twenty-somethings has different needs than a distribution company that employs dozens of warehouse workers. Young families need maternity care. Consider the health profile of your company when shopping.

  • When is a PPO plan is right for you?

    A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan maximizes members’ flexibility and choice. Employees enjoy the ability to see doctors in our large network, see a specialist without a referral, and customize their care. Companies with 50-100 employees, may prefer the flexibility and reach of a Tandem PPO or other PPO plan – especially if the employee base extends to less populated areas.

  • When will an HMO plan better fit your needs?

    A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) offers guided care through a Primary Care Physician (PCP) at lower costs. HMO members save on costs by choosing their physician and specialists from the extensive Blue Shield network of providers. For companies with fewer than 50 employees, we recommend reviewing the Trio HMO plan which offers greater value for each healthcare dollar without skimping on coverage.

  • We offer over 40 PPO plan designs, compatibility with health savings accounts (HSAs), and multiple PPO provider network options.


    Blue Shield PPO plans offer members maximum flexibility through an expansive network, the option to go out of network, and the ability to see a specialist without a referral.

    Virtual Blue

    A new plan with next-level care to fit a changing world. This new, virtual-first plan provides total care for your employees from practically anywhere. Virtual Blue offers high value, high-satisfaction coverage with integrated virtual primary, behavioral, and specialty care. Employees also have the option to seek in-person care when preferred.

    Tandem PPO

    Our Tandem PPO plans deliver the same benefits as our full PPO plans at a lower cost. Tandem features a streamlined provider network with a complement of high-value member benefits including the Shield Concierge service model.

  • Blue Shield HMO members have access to over 320 hospitals and each plan is available with one of three HMO provider network options.

    Access+ HMO

    Access+ HMO® plans have access to our broadest HMO network with more than 47,000 doctors in California. These plans come with a range of premium and copayment options.

    Local Access+ HMO

    Employers who have a localized employee base, and are looking to lower their health care spending, should consider a Local Access+ HMO plan to best fit their needs.

    Trio HMO

    Blue Shield works with an accountable care organization (ACO) provider network for Trio HMO, delivering integrated care at an affordable price. These plans offer enhanced coordinated care and a more holistic view of health while reducing duplicative services and unnecessary costs.

  • Pharmacy: Integrated plans for greater value

    All Blue Shield of California small business plans feature integrated pharmacy and medical coverage, providing quality benefits and simple administration.

  • A pharmacy network built for choice

    We offer a broad network that balances access and affordability.

    • Nationwide network of 68K+ pharmacies, including all key national and regional chains
    • Tiered pharmacy benefits for Trio HMO and Tandem PPO plans that encourage savings on prescriptions through the use of preferred pharmacies
  • A seamless member experience

    We provide better coordinated care that makes things easy for your employees.

    • One-stop customer care for pharmacy, medical, and claims
    • Mail service pharmacy and a Prescription Savings Program that gives members discounts on select medications if filled on time
  • Add dental, vision, and life for holistic coverage

    Stay competitive and lower your overall cost of health care by offering total care and coverage for your employees. Bundle pricing is available when you add dental and vision coverage to a medical plan – plus, pediatric dental and vision coverage are included in all our small business medical plans.

  • Dental

    Your employees receive expansive dental provider options, with access to one of the largest dental networks across the state.

  • Vision

    The largest vision network in California includes doctors, specialists, and retailers like Target, LensCrafters, Walmart, and Costco.

  • Life

    Life insurance can help employees provide financial security to their families.

Have questions? We’re here to help you explore different coverage options.

What do your employees get with Blue Shield coverage?

  • Wellvolution: Free, proven health apps with life-changing results

    Our award-winning Wellvolution® platform features dozens of therapeutic apps that focus on mental health, smoking cessation, diabetes prevention, and other conditions. These life-changing programs are scientifically validated and address the root cause of issues, leading to real change and long-term improvement. Programs include WW for weight loss, Virta for diabetes management, Betr Health for gut health, Headspace for meditation and mindfulness tools, Headspace Care for coaching or therapy, and more. All are available to members at no cost.

  • Maven: Next-gen family planning and maternity care

    Maven helps employees at every stage of family planning. Their holistic approach delivers better outcomes for less; it includes a dedicated care advocate, on-demand appointments, proactive interventions, and more.

  • More mental health access

    Blue Shield is working to embed mental health coverage alongside primary and specialty care. Currently, we offer a combination of self-guided care, in-person therapy, and programs for children and families.

  • A smart self-service platform for small business employers

    Our suite of easy-to-use digital tools, like the ones featured above, help you compare plans, enroll your company, and quickly get employees on board.

    Use our network and plan comparison tools to compare plan options, premium rates, network coverage (based on region), and provider coverage.

    We make small business pre-enrollment materials available to order as PDF kits or microsites.

    Ask your broker about our seamless and transparent enrollment process.

Compare plans, premiums, and network coverage

  • 80+ years strong and committed to a diverse, equitable future

    As a nonprofit, we’ve always put our members first. That includes operating on a stable financial footing and removing barriers to care, whether financial, logistical, or personal.



Let’s discuss how Blue Shield can help your workforce stay healthy and focused.