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updated: 5/1/2014 6:15 PM

Blue Cross Blue Shield emerges as winner in Illinois

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Associated Press

A company spokesman says Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois signed up 200,000 customers on the new government marketplace in the first year of the nation's new health insurance system.

The federal government said Thursday that more than 217,000 Illinois residents chose a marketplace health plan. The Blue Cross number would mean only about 17,000 Illinoisans chose plans from other insurers.

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Greg Thompson is a spokesman for Health Care Service Corporation, the operator of Blue Cross in Illinois. He says Blue Cross signed up another 150,000 Illinoisans who purchased through brokers or the company's website. Blue Cross ran its own "Be Covered" campaign and worked with community organizations to spread the word about new insurance options. Blue Cross has traditionally been the biggest player on the Illinois individual insurance market.

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