BlueCross BlueShield changes leave thousands searching for insur - WSMV Channel 4

BlueCross BlueShield changes leave thousands searching for insurance

Posted: Updated:
(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Thousands of Middle Tennesseans are scrambling to find a new health insurance plan by the end of the year, and not just those who buy their insurance through the healthcare exchange.

BlueCross BlueShield is ending coverage for tens of thousands of people who are self-employed, who own their own small business, or who buy their own insurance because it isn’t offered at work.

Sarah Neeley is a retired hospice nurse. She has been buying her own individual health insurance through BlueCross BlueShield for year.

Neeley said she recently received a startling letter.

“I was shocked,” she said.

BlueCross BlueShield announced on Sept. 26 it was pulling out of the Nashville market and would no longer sell policies on the healthcare exchange.

People like Neeley, who had individual insurance policies outside of the Affordable Care Act, soon learned they were also being dropped.

“I really felt pretty secure that they were going to stay for the private payers,” Neeley said.

This affects people in Nashville and eight surrounding counties.

Due to BlueCross BlueShield’s changes, 40,000 people on subsidized plans and 31,000 people on non-subsidized individual plans are losing coverage on Jan. 1, 2017.

“So now I’m going to be without health insurance unless I can find another company,” Neeley said.

But so far, she’s had no luck.

“And a lot of them don’t take individuals anymore,” she said.

BlueCross BlueShield officials said they dropped the subsidized and non-subsidized plans because under the rules of the Affordable Care Act, they have to treat both groups the same.

“We understand it affects real people and it affects their coverage. And we regret having to make the decision,” said Roy Vaughn with BlueCross BlueShield.

Company officials said they had to make the decision after losing $400 million in the last three years on Affordable Care Act policies.

The change does not affect those who have BlueCross BlueShield through Medicare or TennCare, or through a group plan where they work.

Copyright 2016 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
WSMV
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.