Florida Blue Centers Celebrate Ten Years

Posted on Feb 17th 2017 by Bernard Holmes

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In February 2007 we turned heads in the health care industry by introducing the first Florida Blue Retail Center, at St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville. It was something the market had never seen before: a stand-alone store for health insurance.

At a time when more and more consumers were starting to shop on the Internet, committing to brick-and-mortar was a bold and, perhaps, risky move.

Health care and health insurance can be very complicated and emotional issues for our members, and we are committed to helping them in their pursuit of health. Although digital channels were developing quickly and providing additional means for consumers to reach us for sales and service, we didn’t think it could fully meet the needs of our members.

So, we rolled out the centers with one goal in mind: to become a destination for consumers seeking health, life, dental and other health-related products, services and information.

Comfortable, Helpful Atmosphere

Customers can walk into a comfortable, inviting environment and work with our consultants one-on-one to access health care resources. If they are looking to buy a plan and need more information, a sales rep is right there to help them in person. The centers also feature a health check area staffed by an onsite nurse, a kid zone and space for member seminars and community events.

Our centers have proven that hundreds of thousands of people prefer to sit across a table and discuss their issues with a well-trained, empathetic professional who can help them make good decisions.

Ten years, 23 centers and nearly 1.5 million visitors later, what may have begun with a few question marks has become an unquestioned success story. 

With more than 280,000 visitors in 2016, the centers continue to support our mission of helping people and communities achieve better health. 



Filed under: Community  

Bernard Holmes

Bernard Holmes works in Enterprise Communication at Florida Blue in Jacksonville. He and his wife relocated from Akron, Ohio six years ago. Needless to say, they do not miss those frigid, snowy days in Northeast Ohio and have easily adjusted to the sunny Florida climate (year-round golf: it’s a beautiful thing!). Bernard now applies his extensive communications experience at three major companies to his job of engaging employees on what’s happening in health care, both at Florida Blue and in the industry.

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