Serving Our Members in 2018

A Message from Our President

Oct. 16, 2017


Open enrollment marks that time of year when millions of people are making important decisions about health care coverage for themselves and their families. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to expanding access to quality, cost-effective health care to as many people in Illinois as possible.

During this open enrollment, we’re focusing on providing information to our members when and where they need it to help them choose the coverage that best meets their needs.

  • We offer choice. In 2018, people in all 102 Illinois counties can select a BCBSIL plan – both on and off the exchange. We’ll also help those on Medicare identify the plan that best meets their needs, and we work with our employer customers to help them offer a variety of products, choices and benefits to their employees.
  • We'll be with you through it all. Health care and insurance is complex, and we’re here to make sure it works for you. BCBSIL customer service and product specialists, community education teams and our suite of digital tools and resources – such as virtual visits, the enhanced BCBSIL mobile app, or our virtual assistant Jordyn – are available to assist some members make more informed health care decisions.
  • Making the health care system work for our members. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes at BCBSIL to make the health care system work better. We’re investing in systems, research and strategic partnerships to ensure our members have access to care from quality networks of doctors and hospitals.

As we continuously fine tune HOW we do business – how we sell, enroll and provide customer service during open enrollment – we always remember that our members are WHY we do business. Whether you choose BCBSIL directly through us, through the individual marketplace, a broker or your employer, our priority is to make sure you have the tools and resources you need to make the best decisions about your care and coverage.

Maurice Smith
President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois

Recent Updates

Retail Updates

Developments on the Tax Reform Bill

Dec. 04, 2017

The Senate passed the tax reform bill on December 2. The differences between the Senate version of the tax bill and the one passed by the House must be settled before it's signed into law.

Nothing will change for now. We encourage customers to keep shopping for or renew their coverage during this open enrollment period which ends December 15. There's only one open enrollment period each year so, customers need to purchase by December 15 to make sure they have coverage in 2018.

Illinoisans Could Qualify for Lower Monthly Payments on 2018 Individual Health Plans

Dec. 01, 2017

Many Illinoisans reviewing options for an individual health insurance plan may not be aware that financial assistance is available to help lower the cost of their monthly payment. In some cases, this financial assistance may cover the full premium cost. That means for those who qualify, the monthly cost for health coverage could be as low as $0 (for the 2018 coverage year).

We are committed to helping you find the best fit for your health care needs and budget. To learn more about how to protect your health and finances, and save on monthly premium costs, you can:

  • Call 855-636-8702 available every day from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. CT
  • Contact your independent, authorized BCBSIL agent
  • Visit MyChoiceBCBSIL.com to use our premium tax credit estimator and review your options

Open Enrollment for Individual Health Plans is Here

Nov. 01, 2017

For more than 80 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) has been committed to providing access to quality, cost-effective coverage to as many people as possible, and we’re once again ready to help our members choose the individual coverage that best meets their needs and budgets. BCBSIL is the only insurer offering retail products statewide in all 102 Illinois counties, with plan options both on and off the exchange. It’s important to note that this year the open enrollment period is shorter, from Nov. 1 – Dec. 15, 2017, and we have many ways to help consumers shop for a plan during this time:

  • BCBSIL Product Specialist – available every day from 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Central Time at 855-813-1465

Our business starts and ends with our members, and BCBSIL is ready to serve as a go-to resource for customers for help reviewing all their choices and finding the best fit for their health care needs.

Understanding the Impact of Recent White House Action on Health Insurance

Oct. 25, 2017

Recent executive action, along with the announcement to stop funding of cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs), has once again put a spotlight on health care.

BCBSIL accounted for the uncertainty around the federal government’s funding of the member’s CSR benefit in our 2018 ratesThe decision to stop the CSR payments has no impact our market participation. BCBSIL is proud to once again offer a variety of health plan options for 2018 – and is the only carrier offering retail products statewide in all 102 Illinois counties

It's important to note that the Administration's decision on CSRs isn’t related to the Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC).The APTC is federal aid available to people who earn less than 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. It can lower the monthly premium for Marketplace (on-exchange) plans and is paid by the federal government directly to insurers.

Group Updates

Quarterly Drug List Updates for Employer Groups

Oct. 02, 2017

Each quarter, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois prescription drug lists for our employer group customers are reviewed and updated. Drugs can be added or removed from the lists due to pharmaceutical industry changes and to make sure the medications on the drug list are safe, effective and affordable.

It’s important to note that generic equivalents are available for most medications excluded from a drug list. Members should discuss any medication concerns with their doctor or pharmacist.

Fourth quarter changes for most non-regulated employer group plans went into effect on Oct. 1, 2017. Affected members were sent a letter detailing the updates.

Changes and effective dates may depend on group funding type (fully insured/self-funded), plan renewals and the specific prescription drug list the group has selected.

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