- State Farm has announced that it will sell Blue Cross Blue Shield marketplace plans in five states beginning in the November enrollment period. "Blue Cross Blue Shield will offer multiple health insurance plans from which State Farm clients may choose," the two companies said in a press release.
- Plans will be available in every zip code of Illinois, Texas, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Coverage will be available as early as January 1, 2015.
- Financial terms of the deal between State Farm and the parent company of the five Blues plans have not been disclosed.
State Farm is traditionally better-known for its auto and home ownership insurance products, so this is a significant move for them. It seems provide further evidence of the market opportunity for insurers entering into the exchanges for 2015: According to preliminary data released by the Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday, in the 36 states with federally-facilitated healthcare marketplaces and the eight states that run their own, there will be a 25% increase in the number of health insurers offering marketplace plans in 2015 over the previous year.
State Farm certainly has the resources in these states to make a success of the move.
"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 Blues' parent company, Health Care Service Corp. "This could be a major force in helping reduce the ranks of the uninsured."