CHICAGO, April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) today launched a statewide education and outreach initiative targeting Illinois' uninsured residents. The Be Covered Illinois campaign, which will be funded by BCBSIL and supported by various community and civic groups, will focus on helping the state's uninsured population understand how the new health care law impacts them and what steps they need to take to gain access to individual health insurance. The enrollment period for uninsured Illinoisans opens in October, with health care plans beginning in January, 2014.
The Be Covered Illinois campaign will work with established community groups, civic organizations, schools, religious institutions and doctors to offer educational materials and guidance in both English and Spanish to help Illinoisans navigate the changes ahead. The Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition and Health & Disability Advocates are two community groups that agreed early on to partner on the Be Covered educational outreach effort which complements the work they are already doing.
Barbara Otto, CEO for Health & Disability Advocates, explains, "Any time we can improve understanding in the communities we serve and educate residents about options that provide greater access to quality health care, we think it's a win for all us." Janine Lewis, Executive Director of Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition added, "We have a long road ahead of us to improve understanding and educate residents about the (health exchange) options available to them in the fall, and Be Covered is a step in the right direction in that journey."
Resources being made available in the Be Covered campaign include literature and a website, www.BeCoveredIllinois.org which will have information about insurance coverage, benefit plan options, and requirements of the new Federal health care law. Both community-based organizations also partnered with other non-profit leaders to launch illinoishealthmatters.org, another resource available to educate the public.
"As a customer-owned organization, BCBSIL has been a leader in helping bring affordable, quality coverage to as many people as possible. Our mission is to expand access to health care in Illinois, and to educate uninsured consumers about their coverage choices," said Karen Atwood, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. "Be Covered Illinois," she adds, "Is yet another way we can work with our community partners to help explain the changes ahead in healthcare to as many people as possible."
For more information, visit www.BeCoveredIllinois.org. To receive alerts from the Be Covered Illinois campaign, interested consumers can text 33633 with the word JOINIL for English updates or UNIRIL for Spanish updates.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL)
With 7.4 million members, BCBSIL, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, is the largest health insurance company in Illinois. It is not a publicly-traded company, but is member-owned. Having begun in 1936 in Chicago, BCBSIL is committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and the communities it serves through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care. BCBSIL is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois