Preparing to Serve Our Members In 2018
A Message from Our President
Our business remains in the spotlight. It’s because health insurance matters in the lives of those we serve every day. As the debate on health care continues in Washington, D.C., one thing remains constant: our commitment to expanding access to affordable health coverage to Illinoisans in a variety of situations and stages in their lives.
The next few months will be full of activity. At this time each year, we enter our peak period of preparing to sell, renew and implement health insurance products for employers, Medicare recipients, individuals and families who buy their own coverage in addition to supporting year-round and new Medicaid program enrollments.
With all that activity comes the “business of doing business,” which includes routine and required regulatory filings or contract negotiations. Those things may grab headlines, but don’t tell the story of all the things we are doing to make the health care system work better:
- We’re refreshing our product offerings with new solutions to help existing and prospective members manage their health and wellness.
- We’re readying our operations to sell those products and take care of our members. At least 65% of our members’ policies go into effect on Jan. 1 each year, and we’re focused on preparing to best serve our members at this peak period of activity. We are also investing in technology and operational models that will create a more personalized experience based on unique customer needs.
- We’re advocating for consumers by negotiating contracts with doctors, hospitals and pharmacies that focus on results and quality medical practices. No other insurer contracts with more providers in Illinois. We’re also putting important data directly in the hands of doctors to help them make the best possible treatment and decisions.
- We’re advocating at the federal and state level for those market conditions needed to stabilize premiums for the long term and create choice and innovation.
As we navigate all of these moving parts and routine business cycles, we will continue to do everything in our power to stand with our members and our communities. This commitment is what makes us Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Aug. 01, 2017
Health Care is Complicated, Understanding Individual Insurance Rates
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has filed proposed rates and products in the individual marketplace with the Illinois Department of Insurance in the hopes of continuing to offer quality, affordable coverage to Illinoisans in 2018.
On August 1, the federal government released the rates from insurers across the country who submitted 2018 products in the individual insurance market. While this may be the subject of conversation and media attention, it’s important to keep a few things in mind:
- Rates should be viewed in context, or include any premium assistance for those who may receive subsidies. Actual out-of-pocket costs will differ based on the financial assistance consumers receive from the government to offset their total monthly premium cost.
- There is still a lot of uncertainty on the rules and regulations of the individual market for 2018. Our 2018 product pricing reflects that uncertainty and the associated risks that exist within this marketplace. We will continue to work with legislators, regulators and other stakeholders toward getting the necessary certainty around issues like the continued funding of cost-sharing reductions (“CSRs”) and mechanisms that encourage broad and continuous coverage.
- Our rates also account for keeping pace with escalating health care costs and the growing use of that care. It is important to note that while we have submitted rates, our level of participation and pricing has not yet been finalized. If we receive regulatory certainty within an acceptable time frame we will review and, where appropriate, adjust our rates if we are able.
Please continue to visit this page for updates to our 2018 products and services in the individual marketplace, as well as through employer and Medicare coverage.