Regence BlueShield of Idaho backs effort to expand broadband access across the state

By Regence
July 20, 2022
Internet access

With many functions of health care and education moving online, high-speed internet is increasingly becoming a necessity rather than a luxury in modern life. Telehealth appointments and online schools only work with access to internet speeds fast enough to handle their bandwidth. As companies like Regence expand their online offerings, it is important to remember that not everyone has the same digital experience due to broadband access.

Lack of broadband access is particularly prevalent in rural states like Idaho, which ranks 42 out of 50 states in the U.S. in the overall strength of its broadband ecosystem. Imagine Idaho, a nonprofit organized in 2020 to tackle this broadband problem, has assembled a coalition of future-looking individuals and organizations to chart a path toward a more connected Idaho. Regence BlueShield of Idaho is proud to sponsor this work to help Idahoans become more connected to important online services like telehealth.

“Broadening access to telehealth is a priority of ours and it requires reliable internet connectivity,” said Regence BlueShield of Idaho President Mark Ruszczyk. “Imagine Idaho’s passion for bringing broadband to Idahoans made our decision to partner with them an easy one. We are excited about what we can achieve together with them, other like-minded Idaho businesses, the Little Administration and other state and federal government agencies.”

Regence BlueShield of Idaho works to meet the needs of its members. Today, that means creating helpful online tools like the cost estimator, provider directory, digital member IDs, chat support and message center. These tools require internet access, and some require high-speed access. By supporting efforts to expand broadband across Idaho, Regence is helping its members access the digital tools of modern health care.