Dr. Patricia Guerra-Garcia. Photo: AL DÍA News
Dr. Patricia Guerra-Garcia. Photo: AL DÍA News

Becoming insured with Independence Blue Cross

Dr. Patricia Guerra-Garcia of Independence Blue Cross talked to AL DÍA to talk about the importance of having health insurance, especially during the ongoing…


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The open enrollment period deadline in Pennsylvania for individuals to enroll in a health insurance plan with Independence Blue Cross for 2021 is Jan. 15. 

For Individuals who complete the application by the deadline, coverage will start on Feb. 1. 

If an individual misses the open enrollment deadline, the individual may be eligible for a special enrollment period. To qualify for the special enrollment period, the individual must be experiencing a qualifying life event, which includes getting married, having or adopting a child, losing health coverage, or permanently moving to a new service area. 

For more information on enrollment, click here or call 1-888-475-6206. 

Types of Insurance Plans 

There are several different types of insurance plans to choose from, with each plan broken into levels named for different medals: bronze, silver and gold.

“These metallic levels are designed to make it easy for you to compare health insurance plans,” Dr. Patricia Guerra-Garcia said. 

Each plan contains the same essential health benefits, including doctor and hospital visits, specialty care and prescription drugs.

You can find more information on which plan may be best for you in terms of cost, click here

The Importance of Health Insurance 

Often when we think of health insurance, it’s often because we’re sick. However, having health insurance is much more than that.

“Access to preventative care is a very important reason to have health insurance,” said Guerra-Garcia. “Preventative care can keep you healthy.”

Dr. Guerra-Garcia added that enrolling in health insurance allows people to take control of their health and inspire others to do the same. 

Preventative care can keep you healthy and avoid frequent emergency visits.

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s become even more important to enroll in health insurance. 

“It is important to take an active role in your well-being, by developing healthy habits and seeing a doctor, not just when you’re sick, but to stay healthy, too,” said Guerra-Garcia. 

Know Your Mind

In addition to physical health, Independence Blue Cross also puts an emphasis helping members take care of their mental health.

Recently, Independence launched Know Your Mind, a new mental health public awareness campaign that aims to educate the community about symptoms of depression and anxiety, and how to help themselves and others during these emotionally challenging times. 

“Not getting help with mental health can have consequences that go beyond your thoughts and feelings,” said Guerra-Garcia.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than one in three American adults have reported symptoms of an anxiety disorder in the past year, compared to roughly one in 12 the previous year. 

“We want people to understand that health isn’t just about physical health,” said Guerra-Garcia. “How you think and feel is health, too.”

As the leading health insurance provider in the Philadelphia region, Independence Blue Cross works tirelessly to enhance the health and well-being of all the people and communities it serves. 

For more information on how to enroll in coverage or further initiatives, visit


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