Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama Says It Won’t Reinstate Old Policies

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WHNT) – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama announced Wednesday it will not reinstate current health plans that do not comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The company released a statement with this news, almost a week after President Barack Obama said anyone whose policies had been cancelled would be able to keep them for up to a year.  Read the full statement.

“The company has worked for the last three and a half years to develop an array of plans that continue our commitment of providing comprehensive, reliable coverage for the healthcare needs of all of our customers at the most affordable cost possible,” the statement from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama read.

“The temporary reinstatement of policies that are non-ACA compliant would create dual classes of policyholders and destabilize the state’s insurance market and the risk pools associated with these health plans. The ultimate impact would be higher healthcare costs for all of our customers, now and in the near future.”

Alabama’s largest insurer said it did not reach this conclusion easily, and has been in ‘continuous consulation’ with the Alabama Department of Insurance in evaluating all options.

“A one-year continuation of policies that violates the ACA’s requirements could create significant legal and financial risks to our policyholders, the state and our company,” the statement read.

Blue Cross said in its 77-year history, the company has never cancelled a member’s coverage because of declined health status or charged an individual higher premiums because of the presence of any medical condition. It went on to say Blue Cross is the only company that offers ACA-compliant healthcare coverage in every category in every county in Alabama.

The website for the Affordable Care Act, healthcare.gov, has been plagued with problems since it debuted on October 1.  President Obama has said teams are fixing it and urges people to try the marketplace to see if a better, more affordable plan is there.

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