CalPERS: Names Finalists For PPO Contract
The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) announced yesterday that Blue Cross of California and Blue Shield of California are the finalists the bidding to operate its two self-funded preferred provider organizations. The two PPOs, PERSCare and PERS Choice, serve 164,000 state and local public employees, retirees and their families throughout the state. According to CalPERS, it narrowed the field for the $350 million annual contract from 16 bidders to two based on three strengths of the Blues plans: both are well-established in the state; both offered substantially better rates than the other bidders; and both have extensive networks of physicians and hospitals in California and across the nation. Blue Shield has administered PERSCare and PERS Choice for the past 10 years, but CalPERS decided to rebid the program to ensure it was getting the best possible service at the most affordable price. The CalPERS Board of Administration expects to make a final decision on the contract in early April. Contracts for the plans will take effect January 1. In other CalPERS news, the CalPERS board has selected current contract holder Merck-Medco as the sole finalist to manage pharmacy benefits for the two PPOS (CalPERS release, 3/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.