Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® Companies and State Farm® Affiliates Expand Consumer Access to Individual Health Coverage
State Farm Agents and Licensed Representatives in 19 States to Market Individual Health Insurance Policies Beginning Nov. 1
CHICAGO and BLOOMINGTON, IL – The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and State Farm today announced an alliance to broaden consumer access to Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) health insurance in 14 states during the upcoming open enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. This expanded alliance will allow State Farm agents the ability to market Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance in 19 states.
More than 7,650 State Farm agents, and their licensed representatives, will work with independent BCBS companies in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin.*
The two leading insurance brands first aligned in November 2014, offering consumers the opportunity to understand their choices and purchase individual health coverage with the help of more than 3,200 State Farm agents, and their licensed representatives, at retail locations in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas—states where the agreement continues for a second year. The success of the first year initiative forms the ground work for the current expansion.
Starting Nov. 1, 2015, State Farm agents in the newly participating states will market individual health insurance policies for coverage with effective dates beginning Jan. 1, 2016. This alliance provides consumers with an opportunity to obtain personal assistance from State Farm agents who can explain coverage options and assist individuals in selecting plans that best meet their needs.
Certified State Farm agents in participating states will market health insurance plans available through both state-based and federally-facilitated marketplaces established under the health care reform law. Through these marketplaces, consumers who are eligible may also receive financial assistance from the government to help in paying premiums. Agents also will market policies that are available outside of the government marketplaces. In each of the 19 states, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies will offer multiple health insurance plans from which State Farm customers may choose. Consumers have until Jan. 31, 2016, to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, for calendar year 2016.
"This expansion of our alliance with the Blue Cross Blue Shield companies to provide individual medical coverage is an important step in helping meet the health care needs of the marketplace, and we are excited about expanding our alliance in these 14 states," said State Farm Senior Vice President Joe Monk. "At State Farm, we help people manage risk and realize their dreams. Marketing individual medical coverage allows our agents to help people manage this key risk, so they can live confidently in pursuing their dreams. We're excited to team up with organizations of the caliber of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in providing this important protection."
"Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are committed to helping consumers understand their health insurance choices and help them navigate through what can sometimes be a challenging process," said Jody Voss, vice president of strategic business services for BCBSA. "State Farm's presence in these states is broad and deep, with familiar and convenient community locations. Our alliance with State Farm is a welcome addition to Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies' existing relationships with insurance agents and others who play a valuable role in providing access to health coverage."
* BCBS policies in certain portions of Missouri, New York and Virginia will not be available through local State Farm agents, including: the Kansas City Metro area and Northwestern Missouri; central New York (including Rochester and Syracuse); and Arlington County and the areas of Fairfax and Prince William counties lying east of Route 123 in Virginia.
About State Farm®
The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto, home and individual life insurance in the United States. Its 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve more than 82 million policies and accounts – nearly 80 million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 41 on the 2015 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.
About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based, and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 106 million members – one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross 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.