By Richard Asinof
By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – With the official opening of HealthSourceRI, the new marketplace of health insurance in Rhode Island, 45 days away on Oct. 1, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island has launched an education and outreach campaign focused on health care reform and the new insurance marketplace.
“For individuals purchasing insurance through HealthSource RI or simply for those grappling with how changes associated with health care reform will affect them, Blue Cross is a resource,” said Peter Andruszkiewicz, president and CEO of Blue Cross, in a statement. “Our hope is that this information will help Rhode Islanders to better understand the new health care landscape so they can make smart healthcare decisions for themselves and their families.”
The campaign features a website, www.BCBSRI.com/HealthcareReform, with a landing page that says: “Let’s understand health care reform together.” The site, which is embedded in the health insurer’s overall website, went live last week, according to Blue Cross spokeswoman Stacy Paterno. It is intended to serve as an interactive resource where users can learn the basics about health care reform, review frequently asked questions, a glossary, and specific content for individual purchasers, brokers, employers, and providers, according to Blue Cross.
As part of a national campaign, Blue Cross has also partnered with Walgreens to help Rhode Island residents gain access to information about health care reform and purchasing insurance, targeting both in-store and online customers. The Walgreen’s website is LearnAboutReform.com.
In addition, Blue Cross is also hosting breakfast forums for small businesses and brokers, the first of which was held Wednesday morning at the Providence Marriott, attracting about 50 participants, according to Paterno. “There were a lot of good questions asked,” she said.
Blue Cross is also continuing a community education series about health reform, sponsored in partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation and Thundermist Health Center. The next events are scheduled on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at 9 a.m. at Kent Hospital, and Thursday, Aug. 29, at 8:30 a.m., at South County Hospital.
The current outreach campaign is part of an ongoing educational effort on health care reform that Blue Cross has been engaged in over the past three years, according to Paterno, with the goal to ensure that consumers and companies “have the information they need to be prepared for 2014,” when many of the reforms under the Affordable Care Act go into effect.
Outside of membership and general consumer research, no specific survey was involved in planning the effort, she continued. “We keep a pulse on the calls coming into our call center,” she added, noting that there had been a recent increase in questions.