Insurance Basics

Knowing health insurance basics can help you and your family find a health care plan that fits your budget and needs.

Plan types

Types of Plans

What do the "letters" of a health plan mean? When comparing Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois options, you might come across a few different plan types:

  • HMO: A Health Maintenance Organization keeps costs low by working with your primary care doctor for any needs and specialty referrals.
  • PPO:  A Preferred Provider Organization lets you choose where you go for care without needing referrals or in-network providers.
  • CDHP: A Customer-Driven Health Plan gives you more control of your health care costs and is most often paired with a health savings account.
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Health Insurance Costs

You might find a few different costs in your health insurance bills – you’ll always pay a set amount each month, or your premium, to keep your care active. When you get health care, you may also pay towards your deductible, copay, or coinsurance. Learn how they work together for your coverage.

Review costs

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How to Enroll

Depending on the type of plan you’re looking for, you have a few ways to enroll in a 2024 BCBSIL health plan. Find out how and when you may be able to choose an Individual and Family, Medicaid or Medicare plan.

Review your options

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Member Tools

When you become a member of BCBSIL, you’ll get access to tools that help you stay healthy and use your benefits. Learn about your resources like our Find Care tool, Form Finder, Blue Access for MembersSM and mobile app and Universal Preferences Page.

More about member tools

Plan types

Financial Assistance

You may be able to save on your monthly bill with a premium tax credit, also known as a subsidy. Premium tax credits are provided by the government and are based on a few different things, like where you live and your income.

Learn about premium tax credits

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Health Care Terms

Use our glossary to look up common health care terms you might come across when using your Illinois health insurance plan.

Search glossary

Last Updated: Dec. 11, 2023