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New Representation in Conn. and Vt.
By Trevor Jensen
BOSTON--HMS Partners expanded its relationship with Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield by besting two other finalists for the acquisition-minded company's growing account.
Anthem, Indianapolis, is the Blue Cross/Blue Shield licensee for New Hampshire, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Colorado and Nevada. Anthem is in negotiations for Maine's Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan.
HMS was the incumbent for Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. O'Neal & Prelle in Hartford, Conn., handled Connecticut and was initially involved in the review before being cut. Barradas Yeaton & Wold in Portsmouth, N.H., worked with that state's Blue Cross licensee before Anthem purchased the business last fall.
HMS in Columbus, Ohio, was chosen by the insurer after a review that sources said came down to HMS, Fahlgren in Columbus and Bates Midwest in Indianapolis.
The business, which includes media buying, is expected to bill $10-12 million and has grown as Anthem has expanded the number of state Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans it owns to seven.
"It's really the job of bringing this company together," said HMS CEO Rick Milenthal. "We'll create a common brand based on common benefits."
HMS was chosen because "they hit the brand position strategy best and they were the most multi-dimensional," said Jay Blumberg, director of corporate brand management at Anthem. The decision was made by a committee of executives from each of Anthem's regions. K