BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Alfa Insurance offices throughout Alabama will now offer health and dental insurance policies from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, including the company's policies that are part of the new federally facilitated insurance marketplace.
Alfa spokesman Jeff Helms said Tuesday the company has offices in all 67 counties, and they offer an alternative to obtaining health and dental insurance through the Internet or by phone. "A lot of people still want a face-to-face relationship," he said.
Blue Cross, based in Birmingham, is Alabama's largest health insurance provider. Alfa, based in Montgomery, is a major provider of auto, home and life insurance. It has offered some Blue Cross products for many years, such as group coverage for farmers, but this is the first time it has offered the full line. Prices will be the same as contacting Blue Cross directly, Helms said.
Blue Cross is offering individual insurance policies in all 67 counties through the new federally facilitated marketplace that opened Oct. 1. It is the only provider of individual policies in 64 of those counties.
At a news conference Tuesday in Birmingham, Blue Cross President Terry Kellogg and Alfa President Jimmy Parnell said the two long-standing Alabama companies can help people navigate the new health care law.
"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama wants to provide both our current and potential customers convenient ways to learn more about the product options available under the health care reform law as they choose the plan that best fits their needs," Kellogg said.
The federal law requires people without insurance to have individual coverage by Jan. 1 or face penalties at tax time in April. The law provides subsidies for those making less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four that is $94,200 annually.
Blue Cross officials said the company's policies remain available online at http://www.AlabamaBlue.com , by phone or from Blue Cross agents.