The contract with State Farm will likely tighten Health Care Service's grip on its markets. It already commands about 60% of the individual insurance market in Illinois, with similarly dominant positions in other states. State Farm has 3,300 agencies in the five states, with 1,200 in Illinois.
“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,” Jeff Tikkanen, president of retail markets for the BCBS health plans in the five states of the collaboration, said in a statement. “This could be a major force in helping reduce the ranks of the uninsured, and a welcome addition to our existing relationships with insurance brokers and others who play a valuable role in expanding health coverage.”
“This alliance brings together two iconic organizations, both known for delivering the most trusted insurance coverage and exceptional customer service,” said Joe Monk, a State Farm senior vice president. “With the health insurance environment changing under the Affordable Care Act, we continue to assess our alliance relationships and products available.”