Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® Health Plans and State Farm® Affiliates Team Up to Expand Access to Individual Health Coverage through New Alliance

State Farm Agents and Licensed Team Members in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma & Texas to Offer Individual Health Insurance Policies Beginning in Mid-November

CHICAGO and BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Sept. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) health plans and State Farm today announced a new effort to broaden consumer access to health insurance during the upcoming open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act.  More than 3,300 State Farm agents and their licensed team members will work with BCBS health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas to offer individual health coverage. 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

Starting on Nov. 15, State Farm agent offices in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas will offer individual health insurance policies for coverage that can be effective as early as Jan. 1, 2015. This alliance addresses the need to expand access to individuals who seek coverage choices and provides an opportunity for them to obtain personal assistance from State Farm agents who may explain options and assist them in selecting plans that best meet their needs.

State Farm agents* will market health insurance plans both on and off the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges. Through exchanges, consumers who are eligible for financial assistance can shop and obtain help in paying premiums. Policies will also be available outside the public exchanges through this alliance. In each of the five states, Blue Cross Blue Shield will offer multiple health insurance plans from which State Farm clients may choose.  Plans will be available in every Zip Code of each state.

"This alliance brings together two iconic organizations, both known for delivering the most trusted insurance coverage and exceptional customer service," said Joe Monk, senior State Farm Mutual executive. "With the health insurance environment changing under the Affordable Care Act, we continue to assess our alliance relationships and products available. State Farm's objective is to continue to market quality health products that help customers manage this everyday risk."

"The BCBS health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas are committed to expanding access and offering health insurance options in every corner of every state in which we operate. 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." said Jeff Tikkanen, president of retail markets for the BCBS health plans in the five states of the collaboration. "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."

*State Farm agents will market the health plans through Insurance Placement Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

About State Farm

State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also 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 2014 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.

About Health Care Service Corporation

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas are the trade names of Health Care Service Corporation, the country's largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall, with more than 14.5 million members in its Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. A Mutual Legal Reserve Company, HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. HCSC has a rating of AA- (Very Strong) from Standard and Poor's, A1 (Good) from Moody's and A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best Company. For more information, please visit www.HCSC.com, visit our Facebook page or follow us at www.twitter.com/HCSC.

About Insurance Placement Services, Inc. (IPSI)

Insurance Placement Services, Inc. (IPSI) is a non-insurance affiliate of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, currently used to account for financial activity resulting from strategic alliances formed with other insurers whose products are marketed by State Farm agents. 

State Farm

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140923/147869
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140923/147870

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas

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