Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Teams with Walgreens to Help Educate Consumers in Preparation for New Health Insurance Marketplaces

Jul 10, 2013, 15:12 ET from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

Collaboration will help explain Affordable Care Act to consumers and provide new tools and information on how to access coverage

CHICAGO, July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) and Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) today launched a joint campaign to educate Illinois consumers about the new health care reform law and provide them with information on how to access coverage and understand other changes they may experience as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

This educational collaboration between two trusted leaders in health and wellness means consumers can have easy access to the information they need to understand the changing health care landscape right in their own neighborhoods.  Thanks to this effort, consumers from across Illinois will be able to walk into their local Walgreens store and find materials that will help them understand the new benefits and protections available as a result of the Affordable Care Act and learn how to purchase health care coverage that meets their families' needs.  

Consumers also can find information at a new website, sponsored by Walgreens and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The website,, provides a comprehensive guide to the law with detailed information on benefits, financial assistance, the enrollment process and other topics.     

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois wants to help people understand their health care options so they can make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families.  So, that's why it's vitally important that the uninsured in Illinois understand what the Affordable Care Act offers them in terms of new opportunities to access health insurance this fall," said Donna Gerber, vice president of public affairs and community investment for BCBSIL.  "The state and federal partnership that will operate Illinois' health insurance marketplace will provide greater access to quality health care, so it's in residents' best interests to understand what's in it for them," she added.

"Walgreens is a trusted community resource for health and wellness information, and through this collaboration we hope the millions of Americans who will be entering the marketplace in October are more informed and better prepared," said Brad Fluegel, Walgreens senior vice president and chief strategy officer.  "There's a lot of confusion, a lot of questions, and it'll take a tremendous, collaborative effort to make sure people have the information they need to make informed choices." 

The Affordable Care Act expands access to insurance for millions of Americans who currently lack coverage, providing new protections for American families as well as new options and requirements for employers. It also changes how individuals and some small businesses purchase coverage.  The law is complex and these changes are a lot to absorb for consumers. This educational campaign will help them understand their options.

Informational brochures and signage will be placed in Walgreens locations throughout the communities it serves to make it easy for Illinois residents to learn about the law. The campaign's website,, will serve as an additional resource, providing consumers with the tools and information they need to make health care choices that are best for them. Website features include:

  • Easy-to-understand explanations of what the new law means for consumers
  • Frequently asked questions about eligibility for federal financial assistance, the individual mandate and penalties for not purchasing insurance
  • An explanation of the enrollment process and how the new marketplace or "exchanges" will work
  • Interactive links to a glossary of terms related to healthcare reform

About Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) With 7.5 million members, BCBSIL, a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, is the largest health insurance company in Illinois. Founded in Chicago in 1936, 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 health care quality and patient outcomes.

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens ( vision is to become America's first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services help improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,098 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois