Existing market leader Blue Cross Blue Sheild is eager to participate in the Affordable Care Act health insurance market in Oklahoma to offer insurance coverage in the Obamacare market. In spite of the fact that future of Obamacare is quite bright right now.
“We are submitting products and rates for 2018. We hope to again participate in the individual market, but have not made any final decisions concerning our level of participation.”
The ACA health insurance market in Oklahoma will face big changes next year, with BCBS moving 40,000 people into different plans and three other companies dropping out entirely.
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These leaves BCBS as the only company in Oklahoma that is currently offering coverage through the exchange. Because of that, there was a lot of concern Blue Cross Blue Shield would drop out. That would obviously leave Oklahomans without the ability to buy insurance through the online marketplace.
Buddy Combs, the Deputy Insurance Commissioner said
“Right now Blue Cross Blue Shield is planning on being on the market in 2018, we think that’s really good news for Oklahomans. If we end up with no carriers in the exchange in 2018 we have a real problem especially for the people who are low income who use the exchange to get subsidies for their health insurance coverage. Those are the people who will be hurt the most by having no carriers in the exchange.”
It said that Blue Cross will offer the “Blue Choice” provider network to individuals. Existing policyholders will be shifted into similar policies in one of two other networks: “Blue Preferred” or “Blue Advantage.” Both have fewer participating doctors, hospitals, and other providers. Blue Cross will continue to offer the Choice network to employers with group plans.
Combs has pointed out many things that BCBS can make changes by next year and on which its decisions are based. BCBS said that they are working with regulators at state and federal level.
“They’re trying to figure out what they’re going to do in 2018 but they don’t know exactly what 2018 is going to look like from a regulatory landscape.”
It is difficult to comment if BCBS will ask for another increase in rate by August.
Date: June 15, 2017