Blue Shield of California, the Aspire Health team offers an affordable, high-quality benefit plan throughout Monterey County | California Blue Shield

MONTEREY, CA (October 24, 2022) – Blue Shield of California and Aspire Health today announced a new health maintenance organization (HMO) benefit plan for Monterey County residents that provides access to comprehensive and cost-effective care through better coordination and communication between health plan, doctors and hospitals.

The new Blue Shield Trio HMO is based on the nonprofit health plan’s nationally recognized Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, which provides members with access to quality care that is more affordable. This collaboration also builds on the health plan’s Health Reimagined initiative, which was launched in 2020 to help transform the health care system across the state, bringing public health advocates and expanded mental health support to Monterey County.

“As a mission-driven, not-for-profit health plan, we’re always looking for ways to create better care for members while saving them money,” said Tim Lieb, senior vice president of Blue Shield. “We are putting our mission into action by working with Aspire Health to provide a high-value option to members in Monterey County.”

Trio HMO members will have access to Montage Health and Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS). Both systems offer a range of health care services from preventive to acute care, including Monterey Peninsula Community Hospital, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, robust physician networks, urgent care clinics, outpatient services and more. Features of the Trio HMO plan include:

  • Shield Concierge: live support from a team of professionals including registered nurses, health coaches, social workers, pharmacists and more
  • $0 copay for virtual medical and behavioral health appointments
  • Blue Shield’s Wellvolution platform for digital health and wellness applications
  • Food delivery and non-emergency transportation support for qualified members recovering from serious illness

This high-value option will be the first widely available HMO in the county, offering residents and workers access to care at a lower monthly premium than most PPO (preferred provider organization) plans at a time when many consumers are taking a cautious approach to budgeting . Although some HMO plans exist in Monterey County for narrow groups of employees, Trio is available for all local employer-sponsored plans, as well as individual and family plans in nearly all of Monterey County.

“Aspire Health’s mission is to improve the health of our community, and part of that is helping to provide lower-cost, high-value healthcare to our area,” said Tyler Munson, CEO of Aspire Health. “This partnership will provide easier access to exemplary providers in our community so they can improve their health locally.”

Trio HMO is available to new commercial and individual customers in the expanded service area, effective dates as early as January 1, 2023. Learn more about Trio HMO features, then search for doctors, hospitals, specialists and more in the Trio HMO network.

About Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California strives to create a health care system worthy of family and friends that is sustainably affordable. Blue Shield of California is a taxable, not-for-profit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association with 4.7 million members, 7,800 employees and $22.9 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 in San Francisco and now headquartered in Oakland, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare plans in California. The company has contributed $120 million to the Blue Shield of California Foundation over the past three years to make an impact in California communities.

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About Aspire Health Plan

Aspire Health Plan is a local nonprofit Medicare Advantage health plan. It is a partnership between Montage Health and Salinas Valley Healthcare System. Started in 2014, Aspire was created to provide better health care options for those eligible for Medicare, and recently expanded to serve the commercial population in partnership with plans such as Blue Shield of California. Aspire serves thousands of members in Monterey County by focusing on improving health and inspiring every person to live their best life. For more information, visit

About Montage Health

Montage Health is the not-for-profit parent company of a family of organizations dedicated to improving lives by providing exceptional care and inspiration in the pursuit of optimal health. Through its subsidiaries and its partnerships with physicians and other clinicians, health and community organizations and, most importantly, community members, Montage Health is dedicated to care that is coordinated across care to meet everyone’s goals and needs person. The Montage Health family of companies includes Monterey Peninsula Community Hospital, Montage Medical Group, MoGo Urgent Care, Aspire Health, Montage Health Foundation and Montage Wellness Center. For more information, visit

For Salinas Valley Memorial Health System

Salinas Valley Memorial Health System (SVMHS) is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the region through an integrated network of health care initiatives, services and facilities. In addition to a state-run, 263-bed licensed regional acute care hospital, the system includes Salinas Valley Medical Clinic, a multisite clinic expanding access to primary and specialty care and offering 13 urgent care locations. SVMHS is one of the area’s largest employers with a staff of more than 2,000 and is a leader in providing nationally recognized quality care. Collaboration is an important operating principle for SVMHS in such key areas as our Level III NICU, which is operated in a joint venture with Lucile Packard Stanford Children’s Hospital; Madison Pediatric Diabetes Clinic, partnership with UCSF; Aspire Health Plan, the only Medicare Advantage program in Monterey County; and Blue Zones Project Monterey County, building a community where people live longer and healthier lives. For more information visit

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