By Associated Press - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

EDINA, Minn. (AP) - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is preparing for the Nov. 8 grand opening of its first-ever retail store, where consumers can sign up for insurance coverage or get information on healthy living.

The store in the Yorkdale Shoppes mall in Edina marks a new outreach effort by Minnesota’s largest health plan. Monica Engel, vice president of consumer markets, said Tuesday that the experience of Blue Cross plans in other states shows that there’s a “very strong value” in having a retail presence. She noted that CEO Michael Guyette helped Florida’s Blue Cross plan open its first retail store when he worked there.

“We really felt this was the right time to bring this to Minnesota,” Engel said.

Individuals seeking health insurance and people enrolling in Medicare plans are among the main targets, she said. The store will help people sign up for Blue Cross plans offered on Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, MNsure, or buy them direct, when open enrollment begins Nov. 15.

The store will also offer claims support for existing Blue Cross members and free seminars on wellness and other health topics.

The Blue Cross store will celebrate its grand opening by hosting a “healthy tailgating” event featuring prizes, activities and healthy refreshments.



Blue Cross store:

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