Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois' Private Exchange Now Offers Employers Increased Plan Options, Member Support and Transparency Tools

Jul 27, 2015, 15:24 ET from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

CHICAGO, July 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) today announced several enhancements to its Blue Directions self-service, private exchange solution for large employers, and available now for the upcoming 2016 benefit plan year. Based on a defined contribution strategy, Blue Directions allows employers to commit a flat-dollar amount of money to each employee for coverage. The employee can then use this amount toward the purchase of benefits unique to their needs.

BCBSIL's Blue Directions platform brings many of the same features of online shopping to the selection of employer-sponsored benefits. This convenient, user-friendly microsite helps employers easily select benefit plans, manage enrollment, anticipate expenditures and customize contribution strategies.  

"The Blue Directions private exchange platform offers start-to-finish enrollment support that helps employees understand their health care options – minimizing an HR administrator's workload and helping members become more engaged in their health care choices," says Lisa Feddema, executive director, Exchange Management, BCBSIL. "Our goal is to take the complexity out of designing and administrating employee benefits program, making it a seamless process for both HR administrators and employees."

Blue Directions helps make enrollment easier:

  • Employers send their staff to the Blue Directions' microsite before enrollment
  • Employees visit the online marketplace during enrollment
  • Employees can sign up online or over the phone with a licensed agent

In addition to start-to-finish enrollment support, the new Blue Directions features include:

  • Pick-a-Plan. For 2016, employers can build their own plan package from a comprehensive portfolio of PPOs, High Deductible Health Plans and HMOs. Employees can compare these plans side-by-side and filter them by network, deductible and premium to find a plan that fits their unique needs. Employees will see exactly how much their employer will contribute and what their out-of-pocket maximums will be.
  • Benefits Value Advisor (BVA). Specially trained customer service advocates who use proprietary tools to provide members assistance in understanding benefits, scheduling doctor visits, and finding in-network doctors. In a study by Health Care Service Corporation, members who acted on a BVA recommendation saw an average savings of approximately $2,000 per claim.
  • Primary Nurse. The Primary Nurse model helps members with complex medical conditions better understand and manage their unique health care needs.
  • Decision Support. Members can create a custom profile through the online employee decision tool during enrollment to help them determine the plan that best suits their needs. Members can also call the Blue Directions help center for 24/7 support during the enrollment process to address their questions.

In addition to health benefits, employers can also provide members with specialty lines of coverage for dental, vision, life, short and long-term disability, critical illness, and accident and hospital indemnity.

Blue Directions is available to large employers headquartered in Illinois.

For more information on Blue Directions, please visit


SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois