Blue Cross of Idaho space in Twin Falls a new kind of retail/office hybrid

By: Travis Estvold
15 March 2016

A team from CTA is helping usher in a brand new type of facility: the retail insurance store. Blue Cross of Idaho recently completed Idaho’s first retail insurance center in Twin Falls, according to CTA project manager Brock Martinson

Passage of the Affordable Care Act has created demand from individuals shopping for health insurance plans, which is a dramatic shift from what has long been considered the norm in the insurance industry. The long established practice of selling group plans to organizations has begun to shift toward individual consumers looking into options for themselves and their families. In Blue Cross’s new facilities, 90% of the space is considered a “public zone,” Martinson said. The incredibly family-friendly area features glass conference rooms and offices, inviting furniture, and a comfortable environment for people trying to navigate through the world of insurance. Private sitting areas, and small and large conference rooms accommodate individuals and families, but also seminars built for 25 to 30 people. Customers can now be talked through how to use the healthcare.gov website, peruse policies, and ask questions — all in person.

Despite the retail-bent, Blue Cross of Idaho still needed office space for its employees, a break room, and space for the exchange of finances. Yet both public and private zones needed to squeeze into a modest 2,500 sq. ft. space located in the Breckenridge Farms Shopping Center.

Meeting a tight budget and schedule — efficiently, in such a small space — was only made possible by good decision-making coupled with an invested client rep that knew precisely what she wanted, Martinson said. “We meticulously documented, then executed her vision.” He was quick to point out several other entities vital to the project’s success: “CTA supplied the ‘bones,’ [furniture supplier] Teknion added the ‘skin,’ and Stoltz Marketing Group applied the ‘tattoos [wall graphics].'” He also credited General contractor Don Anderson Construction and Superintendent Kenny Anderson of Twin Falls with meeting all design intent, understanding the process, and ensuring a lot of disparate pieces came together seamlessly.

“Overall, the space morphed from a straightforward shell into a cool, inviting retail space where people can shop for insurance without feeling intimidated,” Martinson concluded. “Blue Cross of Idaho has really shown a lot of foresight in the design of their new space. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this became the benchmark by which others compare themselves.”

CTA’s team was responsible for architecture, interior finish selection, and some electrical, mechanical, and plumbing consultation. Team members included:

Write a comment