COLUMBIA, SC – January 16, 2009 – As the health insurance market increasingly becomes consumer-driven, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is seeking to serve people shopping for insurance with face-to-face assistance at the company’s first retail outlet scheduled for a grand opening Jan. 23 in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Located at 615 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite 102, in The Plaza at East Cooper Shopping Center, the 1,800 square foot SC BlueStoreSM will open officially with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m., Jan. 23. The event will feature comments by BlueCross executives and will be attended by representatives from the Mount Pleasant city council, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, and other dignitaries.
BlueCross will offer insurance for individuals, both under age 65 and over age 65, as well as children’s policies at the store. Shoppers also may attend wellness seminars to be scheduled periodically and use a wellness station where they can check blood pressure, experience a chair massage and enjoy refreshments.
“Our SC BlueStore is designed to provide a comfortable and informative space for a customer to discuss insurance,” said BlueCross BlueShield Division President David Pankau. “Cutting through the confusing world of insurance terminology, we plan to provide clear and concise information to help them select the health insurance plan that is right for them. This will be a much more satisfying personal experience in a convenient retail setting.”
The store, to be staffed by BlueCross personnel and independent agents, will be open 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturdays.
BlueCross offers health insurance for children, adult individuals, families, senior citizens and employer groups. The company recently introduced Blue SpectrumSM,a rebranding of the company’s health insurance plans that also adds new, lower cost plans. All BlueCross members benefit from BlueCross’ preferred provider (PPO) network, the largest in the state, and the BlueCard® network that allows in-network access to providers in other states served by other Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.
The idea to bring a retail store to South Carolina came after a visit to Florida where similar stores have produced positive interaction with the community.
“We are looking to pioneer the next generation of BlueCross Blue Shield outreach to the South Carolina population,” said Greg Fischer, BlueCross Blue Shield VP of Marketing & Sales.
Fields also mentioned that BCBS of SC did not for the moment have plans to bring a retail site to Columbia, or other South Carolina markets, but that they would consider it a couple of years down the road if the store is successful.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and its family of companies include more than 20 subsidiaries involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health plan and Medicare contracts, and other insurance and employee benefits services.