The Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) own five Blue Cross Blue Shields:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana
In these five states, Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) is usually the only carrier available on the individual marketplace in every county. With that said, BCBS may be the only option for some people under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) both on and off exchange. For the most part, BCBS has retreated from everything else on the individual market; though, they still offer group insurance in all states. As for individual medical, BCBS does have some ancillary products, such as dental plans. However, they do not have standalone dental plans; you have to have a BCBS health plan in order to get the dental coverage. Right now, the only way to get a BCBS health plan is through a special enrollment period (SEP).
Through the ups and downs of the ACA, Blue Cross Blue Shield committed themselves to the market. Though because of their involvement with ACA, they have lost a significant amount of money – upwards of a billion dollars. For the 2017-2018 season, all the carriers – BCBS included – are looking to see how the current political turmoil regarding the healthcare system will affect them. Changes are circulating and going into effect. Just recently, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services announced five changes so as to stabilize the market and lower premiums. As changes are being made, carriers are determining whether they want to participate in the next open enrollment period (OEP). Currently, BCBS is still signing up people and paying claims. They’re still going strong and are one of the best carriers on the individual market because they have some of the largest networks in the areas in which they’re available.
Since insurance is oftentimes overwhelmingly confusing, we want to shed light on this industry by answering YOUR questions. So if you have any questions or concerns, comment below and your question may be the topic of our next video!
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