Preparing to Serve 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

Medicare and Medicaid Updates

Navigating Medicare Annual Election Period

Oct. 16, 2017

The Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) is now under way, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is proud to again offer a variety of health coverage options centered around optimized networks, flexibility and affordability.

During AEP, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, Medicare-eligible customers can sign up for a plan or make changes to their current coverage. We know that choosing a health care plan can be hard. That’s why BCBSIL is committed to helping you understand your options and pick the best coverage for your unique needs.

Plan benefit and network information for 2018 BCBSIL Medicare plans is now available at www.bcbsil.com/medicare. We also have dedicated Medicare experts ready by phone at 1-877-213-1821, every day from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. to answer questions and offer personalized enrollment help. Or, you can find a licensed, approved BCBSIL agent in your area at www.bcbsil.com/medicareagents.

Retail Updates

Recent Notice about Updates to Our Individual Health Plan Options

Oct. 02, 2017

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is proud to again offer a variety of health plan options for individuals and families in every county of Illinois in 2018. For 2018, we’ve simplified our health plan options to make them easier for you to review and select the coverage that best meets your needs.

While our plans will have fewer options at each metallic level, we’ve worked to make sure you get the same quality of benefits you expect from BCBSIL. There won’t be any major changes to our provider networks.

You may have received a legally-required notice informing you that you’ll need to select a new individual plan for 2018. There’s nothing you need to do right now. To help make the transition as seamless as possible we’ve taken the step of identifying a recommended plan that is similar to your current coverage. You will be automatically enrolled in this similar plan, or you can select any plan from our 2018 offering during the open enrollment period, which runs from Nov. 01, through Dec. 15, 2017.

Details on all 2018 plan options will be included in an enrollment package each member will get in the mail before open enrollment. We understand you may have questions, and we’re committed to helping you find the plan that best meets your needs. We have increased the number of sales and customer service representatives during open enrollment to offer support throughout the enrollment process.

You can reach a Customer Advocate at the number listed on the back of your BCBSIL member ID card Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Central Time), 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Central Time) on Saturdays and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Central Time) on Sundays. You can also check this webpage for further updates.

2018 Individual Market Participation Update

Sept. 27, 2017

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is proud to announce that we will continue to offer consumers health insurance options both on and off the individual marketplace in 2018. Specific plan, network and benefit information will be available closer to the open enrollment period that begins on Nov. 01, 2017.

We remain committed to working with lawmakers, regulators, providers and the entire health care system to ensure a stable, sustainable individual marketplace and to improve the quality and cost of care for all our members.

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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