Independence Blue Cross guides consumers through new Health Insurance Marketplace, open enrollment

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PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 1, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today began enrolling individuals in health insurance plans that fulfill the new health care reform requirements. The company announced they will offer more than 30 health plan options for individuals on the new federal health insurance marketplace in Pennsylvania, which also opened today.

"Today the curtain has been lifted on one of the largest expansions to private health insurance in our country's history. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and we are committed to making it as easy as possible for consumers to learn about health care reform and enroll in plans that meet their needs," said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC president and CEO. "We have prepared for this moment and are ready to guide our consumers through the exchanges."

To mark the opening of the new Health Insurance Marketplace, more than 40 Team Independence members, IBC's team of health care reform-trained associates, were out to greet morning commuters traveling through Philadelphia's most popular transit stations — 30th Street Station, Suburban Street Station, Market East Station, and 69th Street Station. Team Independence distributed timely and informative health care information to approximately 8,000 people and spoke to consumers about how to navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace.

In addition, IBC brought its newly launched Independence Express mobile education and retail health care center to Rising Sun Health Center in Philadelphia from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. People who visited Independence Express today had the opportunity, for the first time, to talk with licensed sales agents and apply for insurance plans that fulfill the new health care reform requirements. Consumers also participated in the Independence IQ and Live Fearless Wheel of Life games, which test consumers' knowledge about the Affordable Care Act in a fun way and demonstrate how health coverage can help prepare them for life's unplanned situations.

In an effort to help consumers learn about the health care law and sign up for coverage, Independence Blue Cross developed various tools and resources, including a new online shopping experience that makes it easy for consumers to find out if they are eligible for subsidies. Additionally, IBC has increased its number of customer service representatives by 20 percent to make the open enrollment experience as easy as possible for consumers.

Added Hilferty: "Today marks a historic shift in how Americans obtain coverage and in how IBC serves the individual consumer. We are boldly making this transition with our members and demonstrating how with the security of health care coverage from Independence Blue Cross, people can live life to its fullest."

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, IBC has the lowest rates in the region on the Marketplace. Also, IBC is the only carrier in the Philadelphia market offering subsidy-eligible health plans across all metallic tiers.

For more information or to enroll in plans, consumers can visit

About Independence Blue Cross

Proudly celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2013, Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve more than 7 million people nationwide, including 2.2 million in the region. We are enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit Connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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CONTACT: Media contacts: Kathleen Conlon Independence Blue Cross 267-319-2399 (cell) Laura Hanes Independence Blue Cross 215-910-0966 (cell)

Source:Independence Blue Cross