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Montana Insurance Company Decides Not to Renew Non-ACA Compliant Health Insurance Plans

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Photo courtesy of Epi Ren/Flickr

President Obama’s promise that “if you like your plan, you can keep it” will not ring true to many Montana health insurance customers after an announcement this week, November 2.

In November, the president allowed insurance companies and state insurance commissioners to revive individual and small business plans that were forced to end because of requirements in the Affordable Care Act, but Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana’s (BCBSMT) Strategic Marketing Director John Doran said on Monday, that his company’s plans will not be renewed in 2014.

Doran said that their were multiple reasons why BCBSMT decided not to renew the plans. Not only would the plans have required significant regulatory hurdles in a short amount of time, Doran said it wasn’t even clear if Montana’s insurance commissioner could approve the plans and still abide by Montana state law.

Below is the reasoning as described in an official BCBS press release:

1. BCBSMT prepared for 2014 in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by developing and offering only ACA-compliant products. Permitting individuals and small groups to now keep their current products through the next renewal would require a prolonged regulatory process to receive approval by the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (CSI) on any rate adjustments or product modifications required by law and provide the necessary notifications to the impacted customers.

 

2. It’s not clear how BCBSMT could offer the continuation option in a consistent way to all of its affected individual and small group customers and also maintain compliance with the Montana state regulations outlined in the recent CSI bulletin.

 

3. Many BCBSMT customers may be eligible for premium subsidies by purchasing products on the new health insurance exchange, which could lower their out-of-pocket cost of health care coverage.

“The bottom line, at the end of the day, is that our customers needed peace of mind, not confusion,” Doran said. “This decision allows us to make certainty for our members about what 2014 product options are available for them.”

Doran also said that by not renewing the old plans, it would give Montana insurance consumers the ability to shop for new plans on the state exchange and not miss out on subsidies or “miss the window of opportunity for open enrollment on the marketplace.”

John Doran:

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