SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Blue Shield has entered an agreement with the city of San Francisco that will keep insurance premiums for current and retired city employees at their current levels for at least a year, officials said Wednesday.

City government employees will continue to pay $215 a month for family coverage, and individual coverage will remain basically free, thanks to an accountable care partnership between Blue Shield and several large health care providers.

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“This initiative is something that we feel passionate about, innovating and changing what we do to bring affordability and access to high quality care,” said Jeff Hermosillo, a vice president at Blue Shield.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

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The insurer and the city will work with Brown and Toland Physicians, California Pacific Medical Center, Hill Physicians Group, Catholic Healthcare West and the University of California, San Francisco to streamline costs by integrating care under an agreement that starts July 1.

Because of the way benefits are set, the freeze saves San Francisco taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, said Claire Zvanski, president of the City Health Services Board that administers health insurance plans for about 26,000 public employees and retirees.

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