BlueCross Announces Changes In 2017 Marketplace Rates For Tennesseans
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has served the health coverage needs of Tennesseans for over 70 years and our mission is to provide peace of mind through better health.
The creation of the Marketplace and the Affordable Care Act made health insurance plans available to more people and we fully participated, as we believed this supported our mission. Today over 200,000 Tennesseans count on BlueCross for their Marketplace coverage. Along with the entire insurance industry, we are still struggling with how to price accurately for these members. Even after three years, BlueCross continues to pay out far more in claims than is being collected in premiums for this line of business. In 2014 and 2015, we lost over $300 million on these plans and expect to lose well over $100 million in 2016.
In response, some carriers are choosing to pull their coverage in many areas of Tennessee rather than take another loss in 2017. We decided that leaving regions of our home state with no options for health coverage would not align with our mission. However, in order to continue coverage, we need to raise rates to cover our costs.
To this point, we will be notifying our Marketplace members by letter to expect another increase in premiums for 2017. We want them, and you, to hear the news from us directly.
As you know, our rates have to cover the cost of serving all the members who buy our individual plans. Those members who qualified for a subsidy in 2016 may qualify again in 2017. This means that their increase may not be as high because their subsidy may also increase accordingly.
We truly regret this tough decision was necessary. However, if we are not able to cover the cost of caring for our Marketplace members, we may not be able to continue serving them at all.
For more information on our costs, visit bcbst.com/2017rates.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc., an Independent Licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is a Qualified Health Plan Issuer in the Health Insurance Marketplace.