Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) and Downers Grove, Illinois-based Advocate Health Care have partnered to launch BlueCare Direct, a new plan to promote high-quality care for patients at a lower cost.
The plan, said to be the first of its kind in Illinois, is available to individuals and families seeking an affordable health insurance option. BCBSIL's lowest cost plan, BlueCare Direct offers low monthly premiums and low out-of-pocket expenses.
Advocate is the largest health system in Illinois. BCBSIL is the largest health insurer in the state with 8.1 million members.
The new program will be offered both on and off the Get Covered Illinois exchange, the official Health Insurance Marketplace for individuals and families, as well as to small group insurance customers. Participants will include physicians in Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane and Will counties.
"Five years ago, BCBSIL and Advocate entered into a landmark arrangement that created the nation's largest Accountable Care Organization designed to improve care quality and cost of care," Dr. Opella Ernest, BCBSIL's divisional senior vice president of Health Care Delivery and Chief Medical Officer, said. "BlueCare Direct builds on the successes of that collaboration."
Members can choose their own primary care physicians who then refer them to any necessary specialists.
"The launch of BlueCare Direct reaffirms Advocate's and BCBSIL's steadfast commitment to offering the communities we serve a more affordable healthcare option," Dr. Lee Sacks, executive vice president and chief medical officer of Advocate Health Care, said.
Open enrollment for 2016 for BlueCare Direct will run from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2016.