Advocate, BCBS team up for new network: 7 things to know

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, the state's largest health insurer, and Downers Grove-based Advocate Health Care, the largest health system in Illinois, have created a new health plan.

Here are seven things to know about the plan.

1. The new health plan is called BlueCare Direct.

2. BCBSIL leaders said BlueCare Direct will be the insurer's lowest-cost offering, with low monthly premiums and low out-of-pocket costs.

3. Patients who use BlueCare Direct will have access to more than 4,000 Advocate primary care and specialty physicians.

4. The BlueCare Direct network includes over 250 sites of care, including nine hospitals and a children's hospital with two campus locations, largest home health and hospice companies, and one of the region's largest medical groups.

5. The new health plan is not the first time BCBSIL and Advocate have partnered. Five years ago, both entities entered into a arrangement that created the largest accountable care organization in the U.S. According to Opella Ernest, MD, divisional senior vice president of healthcare delivery and CMO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, BlueCare Direct builds on the successes of that collaboration.

6. BlueCare Direct will be offered both on and off the state's health insurance marketplace. It will also be available for small group customers.

7. Open enrollment for 2016 runs from Nov. 1, 2015 to Jan. 31, 2016.


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