Blue Cross retreats to counties with no competition for health insurance

[private]Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, the state’s largest health insurer, disclosed Monday it will exit the Metro Atlanta market in 2018 as a provider of individual health insurance coverage through the Obamacare exchange.

Blue Cross will still offer individual coverage in 85 counties where it will be the only provider — which essentially allows it to increase premiums as much as it likes without having to worry about being undercut by a competing company.

The health insurance giant cited the uncertainty surrounding the future of Affordable Care Act. Donald Trump has been vowing that he will let Obamacare “implode” and has refused to say whether the federal government will continue paying subsidies that go to insurers in the exchanges to help customers with low incomes.

“We are pleased that some steps have been taken to address the long term challenges all health plans serving the individual market are facing,” the company said in a statement. “However, the continued uncertainty makes it difficult for us to offer individual health plans statewide.”

“Beginning in 2018, BCBSGa will offer on and off exchange Individual health plans in 85, mostly rural counties that would otherwise not have health insurance coverage for their residents,” Blue Cross said. “It’s important to note, individuals who have employer sponsored insurance or Medicare are not impacted by these changes.”

Metro Atlanta residents will have their choice of two insurers in the individual market: Kaiser Permanente and Ambetter of Peach State. Alliant is offering coverage in counties in North Georgia.

2017 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Blue Cross Blue Shield , Obamacare insurance exchanges