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New store aims to change thoughts on health insurance

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 12 2013 05:20:15 PM CST

Capital Blue Cross store more than just insurance

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -

When you think of health insurance, you probably think of deductibles and co-pays.  Not fun and games.  But a first-in-the-nation concept store in the Lehigh Valley is changing that.

Saturday afternoon, a group of kids learned about healthy eating from the cartoons called the Organ Wise Guys.  But they're not at a school or a library.  This is Capital Blue, a unique new store from Blue Cross insurance.

"This is the first class for Organ Wise Guys and there will be many more to come," said Jenn Natalie, the store's assistant director.  "This is the first of its kind store actually in all of the United States."

One parent brought her two daughters here to learn healthy eating.

"My one daughter is actually pre-diabetic, so I'm really looking for some healthy eating tips for her," said Jennifer Thomas of Walnutport.

But this place isn't just for kids.  There's a lot of health information, as well as classes, for the rest of us.

Including one machine that gave Letty Kaleychik some news she probably wasn't ready for.

"I learned that I could do better as far as my BMI is concerned," she said.

The store does sell insurance, as you might imagine, but also offers free fitness services and a smoothie bar -- even for non-Blue Cross members.

"Free fitness classes, yoga, education on how to utilize fitness equipment," said Natalie.

"Health insurance places now are promoting the healthier living, because they want you to stay away from the doctor visits and everything else," added Thomas.

Blue Cross says that effort to save money and lives starts early.