News Release

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield holds grand opening for ArkansasBlue health insurance store


Max Heuer @ 501-378-2131

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Oct. 29, 2011) — A grand opening celebration was held on Saturday, October 29, for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s first health insurance store, ArkansasBlue.

“ArkansasBlue is the newest way we are serving our customers,” said Mike Brown, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Arkansas Blue Cross. “We wanted to make it convenient for members and potential members to meet with us on a face-to-face basis. This gives our Central Arkansas neighbors a convenient way to interact with us and gives us a chance to get to know our members a little better.”

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 10 a.m., followed by an open house with refreshments, free gifts and a remote radio broadcast by KSSN-FM. ArkansasBlue is located across from the Walmart Super Center in the Shackleford Crossings shopping center. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Health insurance experts at the new store will provide members and insurance shoppers with information about Arkansas Blue Cross insurance plans, advice on which plan best meets their health and budget needs and assist them with any questions or concerns they may have about purchasing or choosing health insurance. ArkansasBlue also will provide visitors with information on dental and other insurance plans.

Brad Welshans has been named manager for the new store. Sara Harris will serve as team lead, with Michael Stewart, Steve George and Ben Foster serving as sales representatives, and Trina Watson serving as a customer advocate.

Another reason for opening a retail store is to provide customers information in anticipation of changes through national health insurance reform. Beginning in the fall of 2013, millions of people will be buying insurance through online health insurance exchanges, either run by the federal government or by the state.

Founded in 1948, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest health insurer in Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross and its affiliates have more than 2,700 employees. If combined, the 39 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans collectively provide health care coverage for 93 million Americans.