Health Benefits

2020 Health Open Enrollment Starts September 21 and Ends October 16

Physician examining child with stethoscope

CalPERS Announces Health Premiums for 2021

The CalPERS Board of Administration has approved the health plan premiums for 2021, at an overall average increase of 4.32%.

Here are the average premium increases by health plan type:

  • Members enrolled in CalPERS’ Basic (non-Medicare) Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) health plans will see a 4.44% average premium increase.
  • Members enrolled in Basic Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans will see an overall average increase of 8.54%.
  • Rates for CalPERS’ Medicare plans are decreasing across the board from the previous year. Medicare HMO and PPO plans will see premiums decrease by 4.46% and 0.65%, respectively.

The following chart represents the percentage premium change for each health plan, between 2020 and 2021. Note this reflects only the state, single-party premiums. The complete chart of 2021 premiums is available here.

Basic Plans
Anthem EPO Del Norte +7.91%
Anthem HMO Select +1.62%
Anthem HMO Traditional +9.37%
Blue Shield Access+ +3.16%
Blue Shield Trio +3.07%
Health Net Salud y Más +5.32%
Health Net SmartCare +7.36%
Kaiser Permanente +4.32%
PERS Choice +7.91%
PERS Select +7.14%
PERSCare +12.32%
Sharp +4.33%
United Healthcare +3.94%
Western Health Advantage +3.42%


Medicare Plans
Anthem Medicare Preferred -1.23%
Kaiser -4.40%
PERS Choice -0.40%
PERS Select -o.40%
PERS Care -0.92%
Sharp* N/A
United Healthcare -4.73%

*Sharp Direct Advantage Medicare is a new plan for 2021, therefore no comparison to the prior year is available.

Notable Health Plan Changes for 2021

Blue Shield Trio: Expands into Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties where a lower cost HMO option doesn’t currently exist.

Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Preferred: Expands the service area to 23 counties. The change allows Anthem Select subscribers who are enrolled in a combination plan an option to choose either Anthem Select or Anthem Traditional plans to remain in the Anthem network.

Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage: Adds supplemental benefits of post-hospital discharge meal service, post-discharge transportation, and routine transportation to medical care.

UnitedHealthcare Group Medicare Advantage: Adds post-hospital discharge meal delivery, post-discharge transportation, and non-skilled in-home care benefits.

Sharp Direct Advantage Medicare plan: Will be offered in San Diego County to allow members to remain in the Sharp network when they become eligible for Medicare. Dental benefits will be an option, for an additional $12 fee, to Medicare covered contracting agency members.

There are no co-pay or co-insurance changes for 2021, with the exception of association plans.

For the Association plans, the 2021 weighted average premium increase for Basic plans is 3.63% and 4.52% for the Association Medicare plans.

This post was updated 7/23/20