Blue Shield of Cal­i­for­nia tar­gets Med­i­caid growth with new deal

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Bob Her­man

A ma­jor Cal­i­for­nia health in­surer wants to en­sure it gets a piece of the grow­ing Med­i­caid mar­ket as the state ex­pands Med­i­caid el­i­gi­bil­ity to more low-in­come res­i­dents.

Blue Shield of Cal­i­for­nia signed a de­fin­i­tive agree­ment to buy Care1st Health Plan for an undis­closed amount of cash. The deal is ex­pected to close in the sec­ond half of 2015.

Blue Shield cov­ers 3.4 mil­lion Cal­i­for­ni­ans, mostly in the com­mer­cial mar­ket, but does not have a Med­i­caid plan. Care1st, how­ever, has a large Med­i­caid business that is ex­pand­ing rapidly. Med­i­caid rep­re­sented 68% of Care1st’s rev­enue as of Sept. 30, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments filed with the state.

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