2020 was unprecedented in more ways than one. From the COVID-19 pandemic, to addressing racism and social unrest, and for too many, losing loved ones to illness, the events of 2020 challenged us all.
Through it all, one thing that remained unchanged was our commitment to help improve the overall health of our members and local communities.
BCBSIL takes very seriously our role and reach as a leading health care company in the state, and we’ve been hard at work addressing the intersection of health equity, cultural competency and implicit bias in health care.
We are all aware that factors outside the scope of access to health care — such as lack of access to healthy food, transportation, stable employment, and affordable housing — play a central role in a person's ability to attain a healthy lifestyle. We have taken steps to address many of those challenges through strategic investments in community organizations that work to expand access to housing, health care, transportation — and through our Blue Door Neighborhood CentersSM (BDNC).
We opened our second BDNC in the Morgan Park neighborhood of Chicago last summer, and our third in South Lawndale in February 2021, where community residents can connect, learn, and focus on their whole-person health.
As you will read in this year’s report, we launched the BCBSIL COVID-19 Community Collaboration Fund, sending grants to organizations with missions focused on access to health care, hunger, behavioral health and shelter during the pandemic. BCBSIL also directly aided members and employer clients during the COVID-19 crisis, expanding access to telehealth, waiving cost-sharing for certain services, and extending premium relief to our fully insured employer customers.
While we are proud of the progress made to date, we are far from done. We will continue to support organizations that work to support the people most impacted by the emerging health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19.
Being a good corporate citizen means leading by example and living true to our purpose. We are proud to be the only insurer to offer multiple health plan options in every county across Illinois — demonstrating our commitment to communities throughout our great state by expanding access to affordable, high quality care.
Throughout the year, we'll share stories of how BCBSIL works to make a positive impact on community health and how we stand with our members and communities as we work together to improve health equity, foster and celebrate diversity and inclusion and invest in the future of our state. Thank you for taking the time to read and watch our stories.
President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois