Not so long ago, Nebraskans had three carriers they could choose an individual health plan from on the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange. Now, they have two as a result of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBS of Nebraska) exiting the state’s ACA marketplace.
With only a few weeks to go before the start of Open Enrollment, BCBS of Nebraska announced it will not be offering plans on Nebraska’s ACA exchange for 2017.
Company officials cited high costs and low competition and consumer choice as their reasons for pulling out of the marketplace. According to BCBS of Nebraska officials, the company has lost $140 million since it began operating on the exchange.
BCBS of Nebraska is the state’s largest health insurer. Due to the move, approximately 20,000 Nebraskans will be forced to find new coverage for the upcoming year. Nebraskans looking for individual policies on the exchange will have plans from only Aetna and Medica to choose from.
For the upcoming plan year, BCBS of Nebraska will continue to offer Medicare Supplement and group plans. Additionally, it will continue to offer two types of individual health plans off the exchange, including a bronze plan and a plan that covers catastrophic health claims. However, individuals will no longer be able to purchase silver or gold individual plans off the exchange.
Blue Cross CEO Steve Martin hinted that the company may be back on Nebraska’s exchange next year if federal regulators make changes to the ACA markets.