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Anthem Blue Cross Introduces Virtual-First Health Plans, Helping California Members Access Convenient, Affordable Care Options

Members can choose virtual care, allowing for high-quality care at a lower cost

Anthem Blue Cross (Anthem) in California today announced its Virtual-First health plans to eligible members in select commercial health plans. Virtual-First plans give individuals affordable access to virtual care options, including access to a symptom checker driven by artificial intelligence, routine wellness care, and chronic condition management, along with behavioral healthcare.

“These Virtual-First plans are part of our ongoing efforts to introduce innovative services to members that provide convenient healthcare on their terms through a range of options including virtual care, such as video visits with providers, and in-person care – making healthcare more convenient,” said Kathy Martella, Vice President, Anthem Blue Cross Commercial Health Plans.

Through Anthem’s digital health platform, Virtual-First health plans can connect care data from various visits and providers throughout the healthcare system. In many cases, interoperability – or the ability to exchange data – allows care data to move between virtual first providers, in-person doctors, and specialists more seamlessly. This helps enhance the healthcare experience for consumers by reducing redundancies as people go from one care setting to another and, as appropriate, giving providers easier access to previous health information. The Virtual-First plan is accessible through the Sydney HealthSM app. Members can access benefits, cost transparency tools, and resources they need 24/7.

Members can expect virtual-first plans offered by their employers that provide a variety of cost-share options including no-coinsurance for virtual care, guiding members to more affordable, high-quality digital care. In addition to having convenient access to virtual care, members can also see in-person doctors and specialists in Anthem’s broad network of providers.

“Virtual-First plans make it easier to fit healthcare services into members’ increasingly busy schedules and align with the more consumer-centric experiences people have in other areas of their lives. Serving as a lifetime trusted health partner, we designed these plans to help our California members take charge of their health, improve access, and offer an integrated approach to care through a more seamless, member-focused digital experience,” added Martella.

Virtual-First plans will be available to eligible members enrolled in Anthem’s large group administrative services (ASO) plans July 2023. Anthem expects to make this service available to national account ASO clients on January 1, 2024, to meet their various healthcare needs.

About Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue Cross has been serving the health insurance needs of California residents since 1937. Anthem Blue Cross, together with its branded affiliates, provides health care services to more than 9 million health plan members in California, including a broad network of more than 65,000 providers. Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. To learn more, visit Also, follow us on Twitter at or Facebook.


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