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Blue Shield - New Virtual Blue Plans

The Virtual Blue plans give members (small and large groups) the choice of virtual or in-person care. Virtual care includes $0 unlimited visits to primary care, behavioral health and specialty care through a new partnership with AccoladeCare. In-person care is available through the Tandem PPO network in California and via BlueCard when outside of the state.

The two Virtual Blue small group plans available in PRISM are the Virtual Blue Gold Tandem PPO 1500/45 and Virtual Blue Bronze Tandem PPO 7500/75. These can be identified by ‘Virtual Blue’ in the plan name.

When using the PRISM filter options for Narrow or Broad networks, select ‘All’ networks instead of ‘Broad’ only networks to generate plans for Blue Shield’s Virtual Blue, Trio HMO, and Tandem PPO plans.

If you need assistance, please contact our Quotes team at or 800.696.4543.

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American Rescue Plan Act: Impact on Healthcare

American Rescue Plan Act: Impact on Healthcare

Mar 15, 2021, 3 Minute Read

President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act on Thursday, March 11, 2021. The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill includes several provisions that impact healthcare for both employers and individuals. At the end of this article is a list of helpful resources, including comprehensive summaries and analyses of the Act, an updated ACA subsidy calculator, and upcoming webinars for brokers and employers. Here is a summary of the key healthcare-related provisions.

COBRA Premium Subsidy and Employer Tax Credit

100% COBRA premium subsidy for any COBRA employee/dependent qualified as a result of involuntary termination or reduction of hours.

Employers will receive a credit for the COBRA premium subsidy through a refundable payroll tax credit against the employer’s quarterly taxes.

The subsidy is effective April 1 through September 30, 2021.

Expansion of Individual Healthcare Marketplace Subsidies

Expansion of subsidies to purchase health insurance through the ACA individual marketplaces:

For 2021 and 2022, premiums for individuals with income up to 150% of the FPL will be eliminated, while premiums for all other households will be capped at 8.5% of their income.

Individuals who underestimate their income for 2020 will not be required to repay any excess subsidies they received.

For individuals who lose their jobs or are eligible for unemployment insurance in 2021, subsidies will be provided to cover the entire cost of their ACA individual marketplace insurance premiums.

Increase to Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account Maximum Limit

For the tax year 2021, the amount that employees may deposit into a tax-favored Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for dependent care expenses will be increased from $5,000 to$10,500.

Other Provisions That Impact Employers

 $7 billion to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

$15 billion to the SBA to provide EIDL $10,000 grants to small businesses.

$25 billion for the SBA to administer a grant program to restaurants through a new Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

Extends through September 30, 2021, the tax credit for voluntary provision of paid sick and paid family leave, as established in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Helpful Resources

Upcoming Webinars

Overviews of The Act


ACA Individual Marketplace Subsidies and Calculator

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Law Firm Summaries


Contact your Claremont team at 800.696.4543 or

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