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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois and Advocate Health Care to Launch Medicare Advantage Plan

CHICAGO — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) and Advocate Health Care are collaborating to launch a co-branded Medicare Advantage HMO plan aimed at enhancing access to quality, coordinated, affordable health care for seniors across Chicagoland.

The plan, Blue Medicare Advocate Health (HMO)SM, combines the strength, expertise and reputation of two of the state's leading health and managed care organizations. Advocate is the largest integrated health system in Illinois and BCBSIL provides nearly 8.7 million members with health benefits that provide access to quality, cost-effective care through providers like Advocate. The plan will be administered by BCBSIL and powered by Advocate Health Care’s vast network of providers.

The plan includes a $0 monthly premium, $0 telehealth services and $0 copays for primary care provider (PCP) office visits. Members will have convenient access to more than 4,500 Advocate primary care and specialty physicians across Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, Kendall, McHenry and Will counties.

“This is the latest evolution of our focus on enhancing benefits that provide affordability, accessibility and quality of care for our members,” said Salma Khaleq, vice-president network management for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. “We’re excited that this partnership with Advocate allows us, for the first time, to offer the benefits of a Medicare Advantage plan to residents in Kendall and Lake counties – increasing access to the kind of quality, affordable care that is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The network includes over 400 sites of care, including nine hospitals and one of the region's largest medical groups. There are a number of virtual visit options available and members receive access to Advocate’s LiveWell app to easily manage care — from physician appointments to test results.

 “As a national leader in population health, we are committed to leading the transformation to better health care value to help more people and communities live well,” said Dr. Gary Stuck, Advocate Aurora Health Chief Medical Officer. “The launch of Blue Medicare Advocate Health is an example of an innovative payer relationship to help advance this commitment by providing convenient access to high quality care at a lower cost.”

An Advocate-exclusive plan, the member chooses an Advocate primary care physician (PCP) who'll help navigate and coordinate patient care and refer to appropriate specialists and hospitals. Blue Medicare Advocate Health members will have access to the entire Advocate network of specialists, coordinated through their PCP.

This new plan builds on the successful foundation of partnership between BCBSIL and Advocate Health Care to improve access to health benefits, quality care and lower costs. In 2011, the organizations entered into a landmark arrangement that created an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). The two also launched BlueCare Direct in 2015, a more affordable HMO plan offered to individuals and small businesses both on and off the Illinois Health Insurance Exchange.

Blue Medicare Advocate Health will be available during Medicare Open Enrollment beginning Oct. 15 and health benefits will become available on Jan. 1, 2021. The plan can be selected at bcbsil.com/freequote.

HMO plan provided by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, which refers to Illinois Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Company (ILBCBSIC), an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ILBCBSIC is a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in ILBCBSIC’s plan depends on contract renewal.

Other Providers are available in our network.

Advocate Aurora Health may contract with other Medicare Advantage Plans.

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About Advocate Aurora Safe Care Promise
Health and safety is our highest priority. The Advocate Aurora Safe Care Promise provides additional measures to protect patients and our team members. In person or online, we are here to ensure safe, comfortable and convenient care, and have taken additional measures to protect patients and their families including:

  • Masking – Ensuring anyone who enters our locations is wearing a mask. If they don’t have one, we’ll gladly provide it.
  • Screening – Taking the temperature and asking questions about symptoms and exposure to everyone who enters our locations.
  • Social distancing – Rearranging our waiting areas and staggering appointment times to reduce traffic and create safe spaces.
  • Virtual check-in – Facilitating check-ins with digital devices for seamless, low-contact arrivals.
  • Enhanced Cleaning – Adding additional cleaning precautions in all areas and added handwashing/sanitizer stations.

About Advocate Aurora Health
Advocate Aurora Health is one of the 10 largest not-for-profit, integrated health systems in the United States and a leading employer in the Midwest with more than 70,000 employees, including more than 22,000 nurses and the region’s largest employed medical staff and home health organization. A national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, the system serves nearly 3 million patients annually in Illinois and Wisconsin across more than 500 sites of care. Advocate Aurora is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies and is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology and pediatrics. The organization contributed $2.1 billion in charitable care and services to its communities in 2018. We help people live well.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to expanding access to quality, cost-effective health care to as many people as possible in Illinois. BCBSIL is dedicated to innovation and exploring, nurturing, and activating future possibilities to make the health care system work better for our members and our communities. BCBSIL is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Media Contacts

Erika Callahan
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
erika_callahan@bcbsil.com

Advocate Health Care
mediarelations@aah.org



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