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Independence Blue Cross, Health Advocate partner to help consumers navigate the health care system

Philadelphia, PA – The region’s leading health insurer, Independence Blue Cross (IBC), today announced it is partnering with the nation’s leading independent health care advocacy company, Health AdvocateTM, to offer a new and innovative health advocacy service in addition to the medical benefits and other resources IBC currently offers its members to help deal with complex health-related situations. IBC will initially pilot the advocacy services with its 4,500 associates as it jointly develops other health advocacy initiatives with Health Advocate.

Health advocacy is a valuable service that can help individuals and families pursue better health outcomes, lower medical costs, relieve stress, and improve well-being. For example, a person who wants help to find the most qualified specialist when facing a serious illness may telephone a health advocate, typically a registered nurse who is backed by physicians and other experts. Health advocates help callers navigate the often-complex health care system by coordinating care and offering a wide-range of support, such as explaining terminology and benefits, scheduling appointments, and clarifying billing statements. Members’ questions are answered by health advocates confidentially and the service is covered by the same government privacy standards that protect all patient health information.

“We recognize that it can sometimes be challenging or confusing to navigate the health care system, even for those who work in the health care industry,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC president and CEO. “We want to help our members have the best possible experience and that means finding new ways to make it easier for them to manage their care. I’m very excited about our new partnership with Health Advocate and the pilot with our associates as we explore expanding the expert, efficient, and compassionate resources we already offer members and their families.”

Hilferty continued, “What’s more, our nation is in the midst of redefining health care delivery and whether you are an employer who is anxious to get at the underlying cost issues and encourage your employees to take steps to stay well – which is among the biggest issues plaguing employers – or you are one of the millions of individual consumers who are purchasing health care for the first time, health advocacy services will add value while saving time and reducing stress.”

IBC will initially roll-out the new health advocacy service to its 4,500 associates and their eligible family members so that they can ask questions about their own medical benefits or health-related decisions. IBC is also exploring offering health advocacy to other customers.

“Building partnerships and alliances with forward thinking companies like IBC is one of our top priorities,” said Michael J. Cardillo, Health Advocate president, CEO, and cofounder. “We’re excited that as our first venture with IBC we are providing personalized health advocacy support to IBC associates and their families when they feel the need for an extra helping hand. We believe that those associates who turn to us will not only find the help they need but also a sense of well-being.”

Health Advocate
Health AdvocateTM, Inc., the nation’s leading independent health care advocacy and assistance company, serves 25+ million Americans through more than 8,200 client relationships, including many of the nation’s largest companies, helping members personally navigate health care and insurance-related issues, saving time and money. Our Core Health Advocacy service is centered around our Personal Health Advocates, who assist members with a range of clinical, administrative and insurance-related issues. Our spectrum of add-on, complementary employee- and employer-based solutions include our Wellness AdvocateTM, Benefits Gateway and Health Information DashboardTM, EAP+Work/LifeTM, Personalized Health MessagingTM and decision support programs. The solutions are designed to lower health care costs, increase productivity and improve outcomes.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, Health Advocate has received a range of awards including, 2011 Workforce Management Magazine Optimas Award as the Worldwide Leader in Service, 2011 InfoWeek Top Tech Innovations, named for the fifth consecutive year, as one of America’s fastest growing private companies by Inc. 500, named one of the fastest growing companies in North America on Deloitte’s 2010 and 2011 Technology Fast 500TM, 2011 Enterprise Awards’ Life Sciences Company of the Year in the Greater Philadelphia Region, 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year in the Greater Philadelphia Region by Ernst & Young and is rated one of the Top 20 Best Places to Work by Philadelphia magazine. Health Advocate is not affiliated with any insurance or third party provider. Health Advocate does not replace health insurance coverage, provide medical care or recommend treatment. For more information, visit