In another development in the quickly changing landscape of Obamacare, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee says it “supports” efforts to let customers keep existing coverage that was going away under Obamacare.
BlueCross BlueShield spokesperson Gary Tanner released a statement Friday afternoon which read, “At BlueCross, we've always believed people should be able to choose the plan they think best meets their needs, so we support this effort to let our Individual members and Small Business customers keep their existing coverage. To make this change as quickly as possible, we'll need to work closely with our state regulators to update our policies and review rates to keep these plans available to existing members and small groups. Our Marketplace plans will continue to be an option for our members as well. We remain hopeful that healthcare.gov will be fixed to ensure consumers have access to these policies and any subsidies, if eligible.”
Tennessee's Insurance Commissioner feels the same way, but Julie McPeak points to more direction from the federal government.
Earlier Friday, she released a statement that said, ” The one-year extension of existing plans has major implications for consumers and the health insurance market in Tennessee. I believe in providing Tennessee consumers with a variety of insurance options and I support allowing Tennesseans to keep the coverage they were assured they could. While I continue to analyze the multiple effects of yesterday's extension, increasing Tennesseans' options in the evolving health insurance marketplace is a primary goal. Know that we continue to review the President's policy change and are awaiting additional guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to ensure we have all the information needed to implement this order.”
McPeak's words came nearly 24-hours after President Obama said states and insurance companies can make rules to let individuals keep health care policies expiring on December 31 for one year.
Those polices were deemed non-compliant with Obamacare rules which mandated certain coverage criteria which many health insurance policies did not have.
After a budget hearing with Governor Bill Haslam today, Commissioner McPeak said she is trying to “make a decision as soon as possible,” but acknowledged that insurance companies don't necessarily need state approval to continue canceled policies.