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Covered California for Small Business –
New Blue Shield Plans

Starting July 1, Covered California for Small Business (CCSB) is offering new Blue Shield plans, providing more options for enrollees. These plans include the Access+ HMO Network with Platinum, Gold, and Silver metal tier options, as well as the Bronze Trio HMO 7000/70. The two most popular Blue Shield High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP), Silver Full PPO Savings 2300/25% and Bronze Full PPO Savings 7000 plans, are also now available.

All of these plans offer benefits such as Wellvolution, Teladoc Mental Health, Nurse Help 24/7, LifeReferrals 24/7, and the Blue Card program for when members are outside of California.

For assistance, please contact our Quotes team at or 800.696.4543.

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New California Law Regulates Balance Billing of Ambulance Services

New California Law Regulates Balance Billing of Ambulance Services

Dec 11, 2023, < 1 Minute Read

A new California law bans ground ambulance operators from balance billing patients starting January 1, 2024. Signed into law by Governor Newsom on October 8, 2023, AB-716 limits how much a non-network ambulance operator can charge patients to the amount they would pay for an in-network ambulance. The law applies to state-regulated commercial health plans, including fully insured Small Group plans.

While federal and some state laws ban balance billing for hospital and air ambulance charges, most states, until now, allowed the practice for ground ambulance services – despite patients having no control over which ambulance provider responds in an emergency.

In California, nearly three-quarters of ground ambulance rides result in surprise out-of-network bills, with average charges over $1,200 – the highest in the U.S. Under the new California law, over 14 million state residents with commercial health plans will save an average of nearly $1,100 per emergency ambulance ride and over $800 for non-emergency transports. Health plans will be required to pay county-set ambulance rates, which are approximately $2,000 higher than current insurer payments per ride. But with ambulance services accounting for a small fraction of overall health spending, premium increases should be minimal. Get the details.

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