A Very Big Number: Blue Shield of California Foundation Announces Fourth Quarter Giving to Support the ACA

The Blue Shield Foundation of California makes no secret of the fact that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation is a big interest of theirs. In just the third quarter of 2013 alone, it issued $3.4 million in grants aimed at reinforcing the state’s health care system, readying itself for the onslaught of formerly uninsured Americans who would become eligible for coverage under the ACA. That included a lump sum of $300K to the California Primary Care Association— a huge umbrella organization representing between 600-800 nonprofit community clinics throughout the state— with the express intent of bracing for the ACA boom.

And though $3.4 million might seem like a bundle, especially dispensed within one short quarter, let us tell you: it pales in comparison to the BFCF’s fourth-quarter giving. Are you ready for the number? $10.7 million. Boom. Prior to the fourth quarter, BSCF was on track to top $20 million for its total organizational giving this year; then it decided to give away a whopping 50% more dough.

It’s pretty clear what’s going on here. BSCF is way into the Affordable Care Act— as well it should be. It stands to be an enormous game-changer in the healthcare industry. But back in September, the ACA was less of a sure thing. The government was soon to be mired in a 16-day shutdown fueled by staunch disagreement over the ACA; near-continuous repeal attempts had made its future uncertain, and, oh right, the website didn’t start working semi-reliably until after Thanksgiving. All this made BSCF sit on their money and watch, and wait. It seems a safe bet to say that BSCF had the money, and the plan to use it on ACA-related initiatives, but was waiting for the right time. And that time is now.

With the ACA apparently full-steam-ahead, BSCF is eagerly following along, guiding and supporting the soon-to-be-enforced law. It will surely be interesting to see what the future brings this emerging partnership.