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Increasing access to quality, affordable
health care is why we’re in business, and we support sustainable efforts to improve health equity and health outcomes across Illinois.

Bringing Access to Communities

In 2021, we reopened our Blue Door Neighborhood CenterSM locations in Chicago’s Pullman, Morgan Park and South Lawndale neighborhoods for in-person wellness classes and services, after providing virtual-only sessions during the height of the pandemic.

More than 8,300 people took advantage of resources offered through the centers, which work to address social determinants of health such as access to quality health care, transportation, stable housing, food security, safe environments and employment.

The centers offer free services focused on physical, mental and social health, and are open to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) members and non-members. They also held farmer’s market events to provide access to nutritious food and vaccinations.

Three vans in BCBSIL’s Care Van® Program — including one added in 2021 — served more than 8,000 clients and provided 8,055 immunizations.

Community partner filling produce bin with green peppers at farmer's market

Pursuing Health Equity

BCBSIL continued to broaden its efforts to promote health equity as the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted longstanding health disparities.  

More than $350,000 in grants were provided to six community-based organizations working to improve maternal health outcomes on Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods. Their programs include a home-visiting program for young mothers, doula services and training and mentorship for women of color specializing in maternal health.

Non-Hispanic Black women are six times as likely to die of a pregnancy-related condition as non-Hispanic White women. “You have to look at what’s going on and find out why we are failing Black women,” says Cynthia Jacinthe, owner and founder of Dr. Jacynia Women's Care Consulting, one of the grant recipients. “We have to change things around.”

BCBSIL employee handing informational flyer to community member at block party

Wellness Can't Wait

Fifteen community-based organizations received $1 million in grants to expand access to preventive health care resources, including wellness visits, screenings, vaccinations and health education.

The grants were part of BCBSIL’s Wellness Can’t Wait campaign, which helped empower people to take steps to improve their long-term wellness despite the pandemic.

The funding was provided under the Care Van Immunization Initiative, one of the ways we’re reinvesting payments from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services for providing quality care to Medicaid Members.

Helping Illinoisans Get Coverage

Community outreach specialists helped expand access to health care coverage during a special enrollment period triggered by the pandemic and during the annual open enrollment period.

Team members helped Illinoisans navigate their options by phone, virtually and at in-person events. They also hosted three Community Care Fairs, offering education about health coverage along with vaccine clinics and other health and wellness resources. 

BCBSIL continued to offer marketplace plan options in every Illinois county and also expanded Medicare Advantage offerings to 17 new counties. This expansion provided new coverage options to 430,000 additional Medicare-eligible Illinoisans, particularly in rural and underserved areas.

Graphic of person wearing mask

106,000 network providers

Graphic of member insurance card

8.8 million members

Graphic of van

8,055 immunizations delivered with 3 Care Vans

Network providers and members as of 12/31/2021


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