By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It may be a sign of things to come, as a major health insurer and an automobile advocacy group start a marketing partnership.

Due to more choice in the health care marketplace (including changes prompted by recent federal reforms), the Blues nationwide began looking for new ways to market their insurance, says Paula Sunshine, vice president of product services at Independence Blue Cross.

IBC is the first out of the gate with its partnership with AAA Mid-Atlantic, giving AAA members in southeastern Pennsylvania access to health insurance plans and, exclusively, Health Advocate services.

“This is a true multichannel approach,” says Sunshine, “so that we’ll be leveraging the traditional channels like direct mail and e-mail and print, but we’re also going to be in eleven AAA stores, really pushing that retail concept, the digital displays in the stores, as well as their social media.”

Sunshine says there are both a web site ( and a toll-free number (888-379-8536) for AAA members to get more information or to apply.

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