The future of Obamacare may be up in the air right now but Blue Cross Blue Shield says it hopes to offer coverage as part of the Affordable Care Act.
BCBS is the only company in Oklahoma that is currently offering coverage through the exchange. Because of that, there was a lot of concern Blue Cross Blue Shield would drop out. That would obviously leave Oklahomans without the ability to buy insurance through the online marketplace.
“Right now Blue Cross Blue Shield is planning on being in the market in 2018, we think that’s really good news for Oklahomans,” said Buddy Combs, the Deputy Insurance Commissioner.
In a statement to us Blue Cross Blue Shield says: “We are submitting products and rates for 2018. We hope to again participate in the individual market, but have not made any final decisions concerning our level of participation.”
Right now the Insurance Department says BCBS is the only one that has indicated they will participate in the marketplace next year.
“If we end up with no carriers in the exchange in 2018 we have a real problem especially for the people who are low income who use the exchange to get subsidies for their health insurance coverage,” said Combs. “Those are the people who will be hurt the most by having no carriers in the exchange.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield says they are working with regulators at the state and federal level. Combs points out many of things that BCBS bases their decisions on could change by next year.
“They’re trying to figure out what they’re going to do in 2018 but they don’t know exactly what 2018 is going to look like from a regulatory landscape.”
We won't know if BCBS will ask for another rate increase until August.