Walgreens and Blue Cross Partner Up To Promote Obama’s Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) or better known as “Obamacare” was signed into law in 2010 to improve American’s access to healthcare, expanding insurance benefits. It aims to reduce the cost of healthcare so that other citizens which aren’t insured yet could have the option of getting one, especially those who currently can’t afford it.

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Despite the efforts of the Obama administration, it seems that the public couldn’t grasp the benefits of this law opting them to call help from the private sectors to further spread it. With this, a partnership between the Walgreens and the Blue Cross was established to support the administration’s healthcare reform act.

Walgreen Co. and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) announced a new national campaign in support to the new healthcare reform act which could take effect this coming October.

The partnership aims to educate consumers about the act’s eligibility requirements, its enrollment options and its available benefits making use of more than 8,000 Walgreens and Duane Reade stores across the US to provide brochures for the customers and BCBSA’s affiliation of 38 health insurance companies.

The partnership also launched a website, LearnAboutReform.com, to further support the cause. Brad Fluegel, a Walgreens senior vice president and chief strategy officer said, “There’s a lot of confusion, a lot of questions and it will take a tremendous collaborative effort to make sure people have the information they need to make informed choices” (Haberkorn, Politico, 7/11).

BCBSA Senior Vice President Maureen Sullivan added, “The [ACA] will expand access to health insurance for millions of Americans and broaden health benefits, but many Americans have had little experience purchasing health coverage and are confused about what the law means to them.” She said BCBSA and Walgreens are committed to “ensuring that all Americans have the tools they need to understand these changes and access affordable health insurance coverage that meets their needs” (Viebeck, “Healthwatch,” The Hill, 7/10).

According to Bloomberg.com, the Walgreen-Blue Cross effort, which is the largest by private industry to promote the act, would show the strong role that the private sector could have in explaining the law to the large public that does not understand it. In fact, the announced partnership had provided a lift for the said act, which was severed after the National Football League (NFL) threw water on the idea of becoming a partner with the Obama administration.

The NFL decided to stay out over the commotion after the Republican leaders in congress warned the NFL officials about the “risk that could damage the league’s inclusive and apolitical brand” in promoting insurance exchanges.

The partnership’s stepping up on the administration side is also a big opportunity for Walgreen Co. and BCBSA. As we all knew, insurance companies and health-care providers gain profit depending on how many people had enrolled. With the advancement of the Obamacare, it would be expected that more premium insurers would acquire insurance plans and there will be more prescriptions sold at stores.

Let’s face the fact, if healthy people would not apply one, these companies will shoulder the higher cost of covering the sicker population. Who would want to waste this opportunity?

The partnership would also mark as a strong start for the administration which has thrashed to sell the law’s benefits amidst the obstructions of the Republican opponents.  The administration is confident that the health insurance exchanges will be open on time which is scheduled 3 months from now.

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