Blue Cross, Blue Choice allowing customers to keep health plans

Staff Report
colanews@scbiznews.com
Published Dec. 3, 2013

Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina and Blue Choice HealthPlan South Carolina have notified the state’s Department of Insurance that the plans will be allowing their nongrandfathered individual and small group policyholders to renew their existing health plan coverage for one year.

Blue Cross said it is sending out letters this week to its nongrandfathered members. Blue Choice also is contacting its affected members during this same period. Eligible Blue Cross and Blue Choice customers who want to keep their current health care coverage do not need to do anything at this time, the Columbia-based insurer said.

A nongrandfathered plan is an individual or small group policy that was purchased after March 23, 2010 — when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law — or does not include the broad spectrum of benefits required by the law or both.

The act’s provision that required exclusive purchase of an often more expensive Affordable Care Act plan was delayed recently by the federal government until 2015.

“The state’s Department of Insurance stepped up with quick and decisive guidance,” said David Pankau, Blue Cross president and CEO. “Allowing our nongrandfathered members the option of renewing their existing plans for one year is the right thing to do. The additional choice supports our members by giving them more time to prepare for ACA-related changes in the marketplace.”

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