CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has made the difficult but necessary decision to reduce our participation from eight to five regions on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace in Tennessee for 2017.
The change does not affect seniors with Medicare Advantage plans, those enrolled with BlueCare or anyone who has insurance through their employer.
The decision to end sales of on- and off-Marketplace plans will impact an estimated 100,000 Tennesseans in the Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville regions.
We will continue selling Individual/Marketplace plans in the five ACA regions where options from other insurers haven’t been readily available.
For the areas where BlueCross continues offering coverage, we intend to offer four plan types: one bronze, two silver and one gold – all featuring Network S, our most popular provider network. Network E will no longer be available in any region of Tennessee.
We have tried to make the ACA Marketplace model work for Tennessee, but we believe there are too many uncertainties to continue participating on a statewide level as we have before. We’ve made this difficult decision carefully, with the intention Tennesseans in every Marketplace region will still have an option for individual coverage under the ACA.
BlueCross committed early to the ACA Marketplace and has been the only health insurer to offer coverage options in every region in the state since 2014. And we have experienced losses approaching $500 million over the course of three years on ACA plans, which is unsustainable.
Beyond closing the gap between rates and medical costs, we continue to have concerns about uncertainties with the ACA at the federal level that could lead to future losses. As a result, we’ve made this decision to scale back in an effort to limit the risk of losses and protect the financial security our more than 3 million members rely on.
We will continue to evaluate the ACA Marketplace as we move forward, including a possible return to offering our plans statewide in 2018 if conditions permit.