; Arkansas Blue Cross And Blue Shield To Open First Health Insurance Store In State
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Press Release

Arkansas Blue Cross And Blue Shield To Open First Health Insurance Store In State

October 10, 2011

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s first health insurance store, ArkansasBlue, will be open for business at its location in the Shackleford Crossing shopping center in Little Rock on Saturday, October 15.

Health insurance experts at the new store will provide members and insurance shoppers with information about Arkansas Blue Cross insurance plans, advice on which plan best meets their health and budget needs and assist them with any questions or concerns they may have about purchasing or choosing health insurance. ArkansasBlue also will provide visitors with information on dental and other insurance plans.

ArkansasBlue is located across from the Walmart Super Center and near Cracker Barrel, Copeland’s, Babies “R” Us, JCPenney and numerous other retail outlets. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

“The move to retail marketing is a new and different approach for Arkansas Blue Cross,” said Ron DeBerry, senior vice president of Statewide Business, “but we always have been a frontrunner when it comes to adapting to a changing marketplace. This is a great opportunity for people to stop in and learn more about our health and dental insurance products and find one that best fits their health and budget needs.”

Brad Welshans has been named manager for the new store. Sara Harris, will serve as team lead, with Michael Stewart, Steve George and Ben Foster serving as sales representatives, and Trina Watson serving as customer advocate at ArkansasBlue.

“We want to make it as easy and convenient as possible for people to do business with us,” said Karen Raley, vice president of Communications and Product Development. “We have heard from customers who said they would like to have another option for talking to someone face to face, and we listened.”

Another reason for opening a retail store is to provide customers information in anticipation of changes through national health insurance reform. Beginning in the fall of 2013, millions of people will be buying insurance through online health insurance exchanges, either run by the federal government or by the state.

“Arkansas Blue Cross wants to help people understand this complex process before they have to buy, so they can make good choices,” Raley said, “and sometimes people learn better in person.” Many other Blue Plans throughout the nation are making the move toward health insurance stores, including plans in Florida, South Carolina and Pennsylvania.

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Founded in 1948, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest health insurer in Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross and its affiliates have more than 2,700 employees. If combined, the 39 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans collectively provide health care coverage for 93 million Americans.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.