CSR 2022    /    Access to Care    /    Community Impact    /    Operating Responsibly    /    Leadership View


Supporting access to quality, cost-effective care is at the heart of everything we do. In 2022, we continued to expand coverage options, close gaps in preventive care, and invest in organizations that advance equitable access to critical services.

The exterior of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois multipurpose facility in Morgan Park.

The BCBSIL Blue Door Neighborhood Center in Morgan Park is one of three in Chicago.


Bringing Care and Education to Communities

Not everyone in our communities has the same access to important preventive health care and education, so we’ve made long-term investments to bring resources to the places where people live, work, shop and go to school. To better meet the health equity needs of our communities, the Blue Door Neighborhood CenterSM (BDNC) took a hybrid approach, offering both in-person and virtual health and wellness programming. 

This allowed visitors to engage with us in ways most comfortable for them while the centers followed local and state requirements for the COVID-19 pandemic. Our three BDNC locations have seen nearly 35,000 in-person visits and more than 6,100 virtual visits, with most visitors coming 10 or more times. The centers used location-specific population health data to customize their programming and accessibility and address social determinants of health. 

We also opened the facilities to the Chicago Department of Public Health to provide COVID-19 vaccinations, flu shots and other immunizations twice a month and during special events.

Our Care Van® mobile health program works with public health departments, pharmacies and other health care organizations across Illinois to deliver no-cost immunizations, dental screenings, HIV testing, COVID-19 testing and basic health services. 

In 2022, the Care Van program provided over 10,300 immunizations and served over 8,700 people. 

A third van added to the fleet in 2021 has helped address longstanding health needs in Waukegan and northern Lake County with organizations including Erie Family Health Centers. “We look at all the social determinants of health and then go to where the community needs us to be,” says Annet Miranda, Erie’s associate director of community engagement. “These communities cannot come to us, so we need to go to them.”


icon graphic of a van

10,300 immunizations

provided through the Care Van program


Focusing on Preventive Care and Chronic Conditions

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is an ally to its strong networks of community doctors, hospitals and other providers who deliver care to more than 7.4 million members. We employ doctors, nurses, social workers and pharmacists — who help ensure members get the care they need. 

In 2022, these clinical teams expanded an initiative targeting six areas that have a major impact on quality of life and health outcomes: cancer screenings, immunizations, diabetes, cardiovascular care, behavioral health, and maternal and infant health. Part of the work involves using claims data and other information to identify members in need of recommended services and screenings and facilitate a variety of interventions in collaboration with their providers. 

The initiative also includes steps to reduce emergency room visits and hospitalizations and to enhance coordination among the doctors and others caring for our members. And to help overcome barriers to care known as social determinants of health, we’re meeting members where they are with programs deeply rooted in our communities.

A BCBSIL employee holds an at-home test for colorectal cancer screening.

At-home tests known as FIT kits are a convenient way to screen for colorectal cancer. 

For example, BDNC kicked off a three-year campaign to increase colorectal cancer screening rates in its communities and among BCBSIL members. BDNC worked with the American Cancer Society, Gilda’s Club Chicago, Colorectal Cancer Alliance, and other community partners to distribute colorectal cancer screening kits, provide colorectal cancer education, survivor testimonies and food demonstrations.


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35,000 visits

to Blue Door Neighborhood Center locations since 2019


Investing in Community-Based Resources

Community-based organizations play a vital role in providing access to care and helping people overcome barriers such as lack of transportation, lack of insurance, racism and financial hardship. A rising number of women are experiencing complications during pregnancy and childbirth in the U.S., and the numbers are especially high among Black women. 

With targeted grants, BCBSIL is supporting innovative approaches to addressing the crisis in maternal and infant health.

A three-year commitment made in 2020 is helping federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) bring a program called CenteringPregnancy to more Illinois communities, focusing on areas with disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes.

Group facilitators, including clinical and nonclinical staff, lead discussions about

breastfeeding, domestic violence and family planning options before participants meet their providers for one-on-one health checkups. The groups provide a nonjudgmental environment where they can share experiences and information, ask questions, and find peer support. 

Many of the investments made in 2022 helped community health providers and organizations deliver preventive and primary care and mental health services. 

Sista Afya Community Care NFP, for example, serves almost 200 women of color on Chicago’s South Side who otherwise wouldn’t have access to mental health services.

Its clients include women with long-term depression and anxiety from poverty, sexual abuse, gun violence and domestic violence, says Executive Director Camesha Jones.

Funding from BCBSIL helped Sista Afya establish Thrive in Therapy, a program that provides free therapy to women facing barriers to care and encourages long-term engagement in mental wellness. 

Three women at Sista Afya Community Care NFP on Chicago’s South Side.

BCBSIL invested in community health providers and organizations, including Sista Afya Community Care NFP, to improve access to mental health services.

icon graphic of a member insurance card

68 rural counties

now served by BCBSIL Medicare Advantage offerings


Helping People Get Coverage

BCBSIL provides a broad spectrum of coverage options for employers of all sizes, individuals and families, Medicaid and Medicare.

We maintained our longstanding commitment to offering consumer options in every county of Illinois. And for the second year in a row, we carried out our largest-ever expansion in Medicare Advantage, focusing on providing access to care in rural and underserved areas.

The Medicare expansion brings 2023 coverage options to 61 new counties and adds 2,378 providers and 483 facilities to the BCBSIL network, making it the most accessible in the state.

BCBSIL Employees stand near a booth at an insurance enrollment event.

BCBSIL community outreach workers attended events to help people understand their health care coverage options.


CSR 2022    /    Access to Care    /    Community Impact    /    Operating Responsibly    /    Leadership View

Last Updated: March 10, 2023