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S.C. BlueCross to Open Its First Health Insurance Retail Store

January 16, 2009

Columbia, S.C. -- 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.

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. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and its family of companies include more than 20 subsidiaries involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, and other insurance and employee benefits services.

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