Message from our President

Hi, I’m Karen Atwood, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
Health care in Illinois – and across America – is changing rapidly. What isn’t changing is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ dedication to the Illinois communities we serve.

We recognized early on how much confusion there was around the new Affordable Care Act. As Illinois’ largest health insurer, we felt we had a responsibility and an obligation to contribute to the public dialogue. And, that’s why we committed to investing in a broad, statewide grassroots public education campaign to help people better understand health care reform.

We launched the Be Covered Illinois campaign last April with a handful of community partners. This unbranded effort gathered steam, and by year end, more than 75 other non-profits and social service organizations were working with us to educate the public.

Together, we held over 220 educational and outreach events around the state, and distributed tens of thousands of pieces of informative literature. Here in Chicago, our Be Covered Illinois Care Fair drew more than 5,200 visitors and was staffed by 36 non-profit organizations. We provided thousands of free health screenings, gave out free healthy groceries, and offered access to state-certified health exchange navigators.

In addition to Be Covered, we did what we always have – we partnered with nonprofit organizations and invested millions to help expand access to care, improve health care quality, and help those most in need.

There’s always more that can be done, but together, working community-by-community and partner-by-partner, we’ll continue to do our part to make Illinois a better place for all of us.