Tags: state farm | blue cross | health | insurance | policies

State Farm, Blue Cross Team Up to Sell Health Insurance Policies

By    |   Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 07:48 AM

The parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield is joining with State Farm to sell health insurance plans, including Obamacare policies, through the home and auto insurer's agents in several states, including Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Montana.

The agreement will let Health Care Service Corp., which is based in Chicago and operates Blue Cross affiliates in those states, to dole out policies through State Farm agencies in many of those retail locations, according to Crain's Chicago Business.

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The Affordable Care Act's price-conscious plans signed up 1.2 million people in those states a year ago, according to federal data. Now customers in those states will have additional access to those plans, noted Crain's.

"State Farm's presence is both broad and deep in these states and, as a result, we will have the single largest network of dedicated insurance professionals resident in their communities," Jeff Tikkanen, president of retail markets for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans in the five states of the collaboration, said in a statement.

"This could be a major force in helping reduce the ranks of the uninsured, and a welcome addition to our existing relationships with insurance brokers and others who play a valuable role in expanding health coverage," the statement said.

The Chicago Tribune reported that State Farm agents will earn commissions for selling Blue Cross and Blue Shield Affordable Care Act policies but the agreement does not include small group and Medicare plans. Blue Cross and Blue Shield officials told the Tribune said they hope the new deal will allow them to beef up the number of Affordable Care Act signees.

"Any time you bring two of the most recognized brands together, it gives (customers) more opportunities to buy our products," Jeff Welch, divisional vice president of retail markets of Health Care Service Corp., parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, told the Tribune. "It's an alliance with mutual benefits. Expectations are high."

Blue Cross and Blue Shield officials told the Tribune they anticipate that State Farm will sell Affordable Care Act policies from "outside of the marketplace."

"But as time goes on, I expect we'll start seeing more and more on-exchange members who are subsidy-eligible coming through because of the storefront perspective," Welch told the Tribune.

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The parent company of Blue Cross and Blue Shield is joining with State Farm to sell health insurance plans, including Obamacare policies, through the home and auto insurer's agents in several states, including Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Montana.
state farm, blue cross, health, insurance, policies
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2014-48-24
Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 07:48 AM
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