Ten years ago this fall, individual consumers across the country began enrolling in health insurance plans created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). This historic piece of legislation helped to address many long-standing issues with the American health care system, by:
- Offering millions more Americans access to health care through the individual marketplaces and the expansion of Medicaid
- Guaranteeing coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions
- Providing access to preventative care with no out-of-pocket costs
- Offering financial assistance through tax credits to help lower costs for those who qualify
Independence Blue Cross (IBX) is the only Philadelphia area health insurer that has participated in the individual marketplace since day one.
Independence Blue Cross and the ACA
Since the first ACA open enrollment period, IBX has been there to help members of the communities we serve with the resources they need to get health insurance coverage.
“On day one we were on the streets at places like shopping centers, community health centers, and grocery stores. We were meeting people where they are, and working with trusted community advisors to break down the barriers and misconceptions and help our neighbors understand why health insurance is important,” said Koleen Cavanaugh, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at IBX.
IBX also unveiled the Independence Express — an internet-enabled mobile education and retail health care center in a large tractor-trailer. It traveled throughout the community to inform consumers about the Affordable Care Act. There was also a game show and a Philly photo experience to help make learning about insurance fun. Cavanaugh explained, “Our goal was to educate and empower communities throughout Philadelphia on the importance of being covered, and we tried to do so in an entertaining and easy-to-understand way.”
The IBX commitment to the community since the marketplace opened has been to consistently meet people where they are in the ways they liked to be reached. Innovative outreach programs, such as the “Suburban Station Takeover” in the fall of 2013, placed IBX representatives at mass transit hubs around the community to give out information about the new program. In addition, IBX started a long-term collaboration with the Mendoza Group to increase health awareness and the importance of having coverage in in Spanish-speaking communities throughout the region.
Moving forward, IBX will continue to leverage innovative ideas to reach and educate consumers about the importance of health insurance. While also continuing to implement traditional outreach efforts, this year we are introducing more grassroot ways of meeting consumers in their everyday lives. From IBX tote bags in grocery stores and ads on pizza boxes, to covers for coffee cups and more, our goal is to find new ways to remind our community that IBX is always here to provide the best coverage in Philadelphia.
Looking Ahead: Open Enrollment 2024 and Beyond
IBX is looking forward to continuing to participate in the ACA marketplace this year and in the future. For 2024, Independence will continue to provide a wide range of health plans that offer comprehensive health care coverage to members and the strongest network for quality health care in the region. The community can count on IBX to be there when they need it, as the company has been for 85 years and will be for years to come.