Choice Stories

June 16, 2021

CaliforniaChoice Health Plan Comparison: Kaiser Permanente and Anthem Blue Cross

If you’re interested in giving your employees the freedom to choose from nine different health plans in a single program, CaliforniaChoice is for you. Choice is a part of our name – and we have been offering more of it to Californians since 1996.

Having a variety of PPO, HMO, EPO, and other health plan options is important, because it gives you the opportunity to match a plan to your specific health care needs. We launched our health plan comparison series in 2020 to help you understand the advantages offered by each of the nine health plans that are part of CaliforniaChoice.

The comparison below looks at Kaiser Permanente and Anthem Blue Cross, both available statewide.

Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente was founded in 1945 and was one of the nation’s first health programs to offer comprehensive health care services on a prepaid basis.

Headquartered in Oakland, California, Kaiser Permanente’s innovative spirit drives the country’s largest non-profit health care organization – guided by physicians and focused on providing high-quality care to members.

Kaiser Permanente Benefits Overview

  • 11.8 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia, including 8.5 million members in California
  • More than 16,000 physicians provide care at 450+ medical offices and 36 hospitals in California
  • Only one of ten physician applicants is chosen to become a member of Kaiser Permanente’s care team
  • Members choose their own personal physician and can change doctors for any reason
  • “Excellent” ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the leading reviewer of health plan quality

Anthem Blue Cross

One of the state’s largest insurers, Anthem Blue Cross delivers coverage to millions of Californians. The insurer offers flexible, innovative benefits, health improvement programs, and simplified administration.

Anthem Benefits Overview

  • Contracts with more than 90% of hospitals in California, including 400 acute care hospitals
  • One of the largest PPO networks in the country, including 60,800 doctors and specialists in California and thousands more from coast to coast
  • Strong network contracting, with an average 60% hospital discount and 48% average provider discount
  • Anthem mobile app and online cost and care finder tools make it easy to compare costs for common services and procedures; additional provider quality comparisons are available through ratings and member reviews
  • Cash back when shopping at thousands of retailers with PayForward, and separate special offer discounts on health products and services
  • Wellness programs and tools to help you keep active and fit

The CaliforniaChoice Advantage

CaliforniaChoice gives you and your employees the ability to choose the health plan that meets your unique needs. For example, one of your employees could choose Anthem Blue Cross because of its statewide network. Another employee could select Kaiser Permanente because of its 24/7 accessibility to nurses and doctors.

However, the advantages of CaliforniaChoice go beyond great health insurance options. There are extras for employers, too. CaliforniaChoice offers single source administration for enrollment, billing, eligibility, and customer service. You can manage all of your employees’ health insurance benefits in a single program – and pay just one monthly bill.

Check back to see additional plan comparisons, including:

  • Cigna + Oscar
  • Health Net
  • Oscar Health
  • Sharp Health Plan
  • Sutter Health Plus
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • Western Health Advantage

Your employee benefits agent or insurance broker can help you learn more about all of the coverage options from CaliforniaChoice. If you don’t already have an agent, you can find one here.

Your Beginner's Guide to Choosing a Small Business Employee Benefits Program

Do you need help choosing the right health benefits for your employees?
This guide can help!