BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Shores Up Obamacare Around Knoxville

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee wants to bolster the ACA in the Knoxville area, which would have lacked a health plan on the exchange if that decision hadn’t been made. BCBST President and CEO J.D. Hickey yesterday sent a letter to Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance notifying McPeak of the insurer’s plans. Part of that has to do with a better financial performance so far this year, Hickey wrote.

“As we discussed, BlueCross’s journey to get and keep people covered under this program has proven challenging, with three consecutive years of volatility and losses totaling more than $400 million,” Hickey wrote. “I’m pleased to report that, though still very early, our 2017 performance has improved due to a combination of better claims experience and a more sustainable rate structure based on the medical needs of the members we’re serving.”

The Knoxville region, which includes 16 surrounding counties, had been left without an insurer for 2018 when Humana pulled out of the ACA. Hickey wrote that BCBST still faces hurdles. “These risks include but are not limited to the elimination of Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies (CSRs), the removal of the individual mandate and the collection of the health insurer tax,” he wrote.

Source: Letter from J.D. Hickey to Julie Mix McPeak