As with any network/carrier transition, there will be some provider disruption. Provider disruption has been increasing, with or without a network change, as medical providers change the networks that they participate in. The addition of Accolade will provide employees with the high level of support to navigate disruption that had been missing. If you need to find a new provider, Accolade will provide on demand support to help you. In addition, they will help you schedule an appointment and steer you to existing resources you may not have been aware of. For example, they may remind you of our Free Employee Health Clinic and the Free Virtual Primary care available through Accolade.
Blue Shield’s Tandem network is an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) network and currently includes 504 physicians in San Luis Obispo County and 953 physicians in the County of Santa Barbara. ACO networks are narrower and strategically designed to provide value-based care that delivers better outcomes while keeping claims costs low. For employees, this means help mitigating future premium increases. By offering a plan with a narrow network, it provides an option for employees who are willing to navigate within the existing network for lower premiums. The County will continue to offer four other medical plans with a full network to ensure employees have choices that meet their needs or preferences. Employees will have the choice to migrate to another medical plan during Open Enrollment. This includes the lower premium High Deductible High Plan (HDHP) which utilizes the Blue Shield of California PPO full network of providers.
Employees will also have access to new digital solutions with the intent to expand access to care, including:
- Free Virtual Primary Care (applies to all plans except HDHP)
- Free Mental Health Care (applies to all plans except HDHP)
- Free Digestive Healthcare including access to Dieticians
- Free Physical Therapy Healthcare
- Free Expert Second Medical Opinion
- Free Surgery for Qualified Surgeries