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BlueCross BlueShield’s newest retail store celebrated its grand opening Saturday with a prize drawing, an appearance from Santa Claus and visits from University of South Carolina mascot Cocky and Clemson University’s Tiger.

The South Carolina BLUE retail store in the Columbiana Station shopping center is the third location in South Carolina. The other locations are in Greenville and Mount Pleasant.

Columbia’s store will offer customers a personalized experience with BlueCross BlueShield representatives, said General Manager Amanda Butler. SC BLUE lets individuals meet with staff face to face or they can access one of three computer kiosks to sign up for insurance and a manage their accounts.

Customer’s children will have access to a playroom with books, toys and Wii games while their parents shop for insurance plans. The retail store also will host health and wellness classes starting in January.

Butler said the insurance carrier hopes to create better relationships with its customers through the stores.

“It’s more consumer-friendly,” she said. “We can now put a face to the name.”

Butler said SC BLUE will sell plans that meet Affordable Care Act standards, as well as Medicare Advantage and supplemental plans, short-term insurance plans, prescription drug plans and small-group insurance.

“We want to get everyone healthy,” she said.

Categories: Business, Local News

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