15:22 PM

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Calls Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey “Marketplace Success Story”

The U.S. Department of Human Services (HHS) last week spotlighted Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) as one of the nation's Affordable Care Act (ACA) success stories, inviting the company to a Washington D.C. forum to present the practices and strategies that boosted its membership to record levels, particularly among previously uninsured consumers. The forum on Thursday, as well as an HHS Blog, spotlighted Horizon BCBSNJ success in the context of the Federal Marketplace being "a laboratory for innovations and strategies that are helping us build a better health care system." "Horizon knew that the ACA would usher in a brand new era of consumerism in the health insurance industry, so we dedicated our efforts to fully researching and understanding our customers and their needs in health insurance products," said Christopher M. Lepre, Senior Vice President of Market Business Units for Horizon BCBSNJ, noting a growth from 120,000 members in 2013 to over 220,000 consumers today."We owe our success to a multi-pronged approach of engaging consumers in the communities where they live and work, helping them to become more informed about their health insurance choices and offering low-cost, high quality products like OMNIA as a response to what they told us they wanted from the market. Horizon is committed to growing our exchange membership by continuing our efforts to engage the uninsured and respond to all our customers in every corner of New Jersey," he said.Through focused campaigns to enhance consumers' understanding of the ACA and health insurance in general, Horizon BCBSNJ opened New Jersey's first health insurance retail center (Horizon Connect), located in Moorestown, where customers can meet one on one for personalized assistance from Horizon BCBSNJ agents. During open enrollment, Horizon BCBSNJ expanded its retail outreach by opening kiosks at multiple New Jersey malls, and staffing them with bi-lingual agents. The company also mobilized a "Blue to You Van," where agents transported education and sales capabilities into all 21 of New Jersey's counties. Lepre also noted Horizon BCBSNJ assembled a far-reaching digital, grass roots, marketing and education effort over the last two years to engage Hispanic consumers, resulting in nearly a 400 percent increase among Hispanic membership.In fact, Hispanic consumers represented 15 percent of the 41,000 previously uninsured residents who purchased an OMNIA Health Plan for 2016.Among the keys of success highlighted by the Horizon representatives at the HHS-sponsored forum this week were:About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New JerseyHorizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.
  • Establishing a dedicated Hispanic enrollment and service center in Jersey City with Hola Doctor;
  • Holding regular grass roots education events in Hispanic-owned restaurants (Brunch con Beneficios) to break down language barriers and improve health literacy;
  • Creating a Spanish-language website (Horizon Azul) and a dedicated team of Spanish-speaking agents and phone hotline to service Latino consumers and businesses;
  • Creating a Spanish-language direct mail and advertising campaigns;
  • Collaborating with the Hispanic business community to create new channels of cultural outreach.