CHICAGO, Nov. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) announced today its 2015 individual and small group health insurance product offerings as part of its continued commitment to expand access to health insurance and health care to as many people as possible in Illinois. The products are available both on and off the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning November 15th.
For 2015, BCBSIL offers 16 cost-effective, high-quality products:
- Across four metallic levels
- Catastrophic coverage
"Our commitment to expanding coverage for the more than 1.8 million uninsured in Illinois has never been stronger, and that's evident in the variety of product offerings for 2015," said Kevin Cassidy, Senior Vice President for Illinois Markets. "Similar to last year, we're offering products across the entire state and have unveiled new tools and educational resources to help people find the plan that best suits their needs or their family's."
High-quality BCBSIL plans are available for all four levels; bronze, silver, gold and platinum. All levels plans include the Affordable Care Act's 10 essential health benefits, including prescription drug coverage. Plans vary depending on the health coverage options members choose. In many cases, depending on their income, individuals selecting a plan through the Marketplace are eligible for subsidies. Additional information on BCBSIL's plans, including its Catastrophic and Dental plans, is available at www.bcbsil.com
- Bronze level products have the lowest monthly premium, but 40% of costs are out-of-pocket;
- Silver products have a slightly higher monthly premium, but only 30% of costs are paid by the member.
- Gold level products have a higher monthly premium, but insurance pays 80% of costs, 20% is paid by the member.
- Platinum level products have the highest monthly premium, but the insurance plan pays 90% of costs.
BCBSIL has also unveiled several online tools in both English and Spanish to help consumers make better informed decisions about insurance coverage:
- Online Health Insurance Buyers Guide: Helps consumers understand where and how to enroll in health insurance, how to get financial assistance and navigate their plan options.
- Spanish Assistance Finder: Direct consumers to Spanish language health resources and insurance brokers near them that speak Spanish to help understand what is needed to prepare for open enrollment.
- Subsidy Estimator: Get estimated subsidy amounts for qualified Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans on the marketplace in advance of enrolling in a 2015 ACA plan.
- Provider Finder: Helps consumers understand the importance of using in-network providers and identifies which doctors and hospitals are included in each BCBSIL plan network.
"Recent research indicates that most uninsured consumers are unaware of critical dates and the essential information they need to get insurance coverage during the 2015 open enrollment period," says Donna Gerber, Vice President of Public Affairs and Community Investment for BCBSIL. "Our outreach efforts start by letting people know about the basic required documents, such as proof of citizenship and state residency, confirmation of income, and payment methods."
In addition to its product offerings for first-time and renewing health insurance consumers, BCBSIL has also enhanced customer service to help individuals understand their insurance options.
- Call Center Services: Additional Customer Advocates have been added to anticipate peak call volumes and more than 200,000 additional training hours have been completed by staff. Expanded Call Center hours have been put in place, too – now 24/7, beginning Dec. 1st – and more bilingual staff are manning the phones. They can call: 877-908-5593.
- Telephone Services: BCBSIL has implemented courtesy call back features to minimize customer hold times during heavy call volume periods.
- Online Services: E-mails will be sent to new applicants allowing them to actively track where they are in the application process and when their enrollment and membership is active. BCBSIL will also offer expanded payment options to include credit and debit card payments online and over the phone.
BCBSIL is affiliating with partner companies like State Farm as well as some regional and national retailers, grocers, and pharmacies, along with BCBSIL's trusted agents who remain valued resources for consumers.
ABOUT BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF ILLINOIS
With 7.9 million members, BCBSIL, a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, is the largest health insurance company in Illinois. Begun in 1936 in Chicago, BCBSIL remains member owned rather than publicly traded, and is committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and its communities, fostering greater access to care, and working to lower the overall cost of care while improving the health care quality and patient outcomes.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois