Blue Shield of California launching virtual-first health plan 

Blue Shield of California is launching a virtual-first health plan in partnership with care navigation platform Accolade.

The 'Virtual Blue" health benefits plan will offer $0 out-of-pocket costs for virtual primary care, specialty care for 20 specialties, urgent care and mental care, according to a Jan. 30 news release.

Members will also be able to access Blue Shield's PPO network in California, along with national and international coverage options. Employers can purchase the plan as a benefit now, with a start date of April 1.

"This is health care the way it should be – integrated and accessible care that puts the member and their health at the center," Tim Lieb, senior vice president at Blue Shield, said. "The access to behavioral health services is especially important as our members cope and overcome the impact of the pandemic on their own lives."

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