April 16, 2013

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Adds 60 Partners to Nonprofit Educational Group

Louisiana Healthcare Education Coalition will give nonbiased information on healthcare reform

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana last month launched the Louisiana Healthcare Education Coalition (LHEC), a nonprofit civic organization committed to providing unbiased healthcare and wellness information to the people of Louisiana. LHEC was founded to help Louisianians better understand healthcare reform and the health insurance marketplace.

According to Mike Reitz, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, “The coalition also aims to educate on the major drivers of healthcare costs, the critical importance of personal wellness and the need for access to quality healthcare.”

LHEC was launched at the end of March with a series of news conferences in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport. The launch events were well attended and garnered substantial coverage in print, broadcast and online media, including the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Baton Rouge Advocate.

The coalition had 30 confirmed partners leading into the launch tour. After the three news conferences, LHEC had doubled that figure to 60. The coalition plans to continue growing by adding at least 10 partners a month.

Coalition partners include healthcare providers, small businesses, faith-based institutions, employers, community leaders and patient advocacy groups. They may participate in a variety of ways, including writing letters to the editor or op eds for their local newspapers, participating in meetings with local decision-makers, joining the LHEC speakers’ bureau, allowing speakers to present to their own organizations, and many more.

Next steps for LHEC, in addition to recruiting partners, include increasing media outreach and greatly expanding the group’s website at www.lhec.net. LHEC is working to create a monthly e-newsletter and a blog, where website visitors can read information from experts like Dr. David Carmouche, Blue Cross’ chief medical officer.

“This is going to be an educational coalition. This isn’t going to be about policy,” said Carmouche at the Baton Rouge launch event.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a private, fully taxed mutual company, owned by policyholders—not shareholders. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and is governed by a Louisiana Board of Directors.

The company and its subsidiaries provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to Louisiana residents. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices around the state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

Learn more on the company’s website at www.bcbsla.com or visit its social media hub to connect via Facebook, Twitter and more.