New Jersey Hispanic Leader and Jersey City Officials Join Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey to Promote Latinos’ Access to Health Insurance

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Horizon BCBSNJ today joined with the Chairman of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to urge Latinos to obtain coverage during the 2015 enrollment period

At the Horizon Connect mall location at Newport Center in Jersey City, L-R Joseph Albano, Horizon BCBSNJ Vice President, Joan Eccleston, Jersey City Health and Human Services administrator, State Sena

To its credit, Horizon has helped to bridge the language and cultural gaps in many ways, such as bringing bilingual agents to locations in New Jersey’s Hispanic communities.

With national studies showing one in four Hispanic residents still lacking health insurance, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) today joined with the Chairman of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to urge Latinos to obtain coverage during the 2015 enrollment period, and raise awareness to bilingual resources available through Horizon BCBSNJ.

“Latinos face unique obstacles to obtaining health coverage due to not only the complexity of insurance itself, but to the language barriers many must overcome as insurance consumers,” said Carlos Medina, Chairman of the New Jersey Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “To its credit, Horizon has helped to bridge the language and cultural gaps in many ways, such as bringing bilingual agents to locations in New Jersey’s Hispanic communities.”

Medina today toured one of four Horizon BCBSNJ mall locations – Newport Center Mall in Jersey City -- where bilingual agents are available to assist Hispanics with their health insurance questions and needs. The other mall locations include Jersey Gardens (Elizabeth), Willowbrook Mall (Wayne) and Woodbridge Center. Medina was joined in the Newport Mall visit by Joseph Albano, Vice President of Consumer and Dental Markets for Horizon BCBSNJ, and Jersey City officials.

"As we work to develop a healthier Jersey City, we know providing health care coverage for all residents is critical, especially our traditionally underserved non-English speaking residents," said Mayor Steven Fulop. "We are pleased that Horizon has selected the Newport location, as it is close to a Hispanic service provider and will benefit generations of Spanish-speaking families."

Albano added that the mall locations are a part of a larger effort to improve the health literacy of and assist Hispanic residents with health insurance.

"Through our Spanish language website, Horizon Azul, Spanish-speaking phone agents, and bilingual representatives who work throughout New Jersey’s communities, Horizon is committed to helping Latino consumers with their health insurance needs,” he said.

Albano also noted that consumers seeking to obtain coverage through the Federal Marketplace with an effective date of January 1, 2015, must purchase their plan by December 15.

To accommodate these consumers, all mall locations will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 12 midnight from Friday, December 12 through Monday December 15 as part of the company’s Insure-a-Thon enrollment push. For everyone else shopping for coverage during the open enrollment period, the deadline is February 15, 2015.

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About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
Horizon 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 http://www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.7 million members.

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Thomas Vincz
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
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