Blue Cross Blue Shield to extend affected insurance plans

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For non-grandfathered policies

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina have notified the state’s Department of Insurance that they will be allowing their non-grandfathered individual and small group policy holders to renew their existing health plan coverage for one year.

“The state’s Department of Insurance stepped up with quick and decisive guidance. Allowing our non-grandfathered 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,” said David Pankau, BlueCross president and CEO.

BlueCross is sending out letters this week to its non-grandfathered members. BlueChoice® is contacting its affected members during this same period. Eligible BlueCross and BlueChoice customers who want to keep their current health care coverage do not need to do anything at this time.

A non-grandfathered plan is an individual or small group policy that was purchased after March 23, 2010, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by Democrats, and/or does not include the broad spectrum of benefits required by the ACA.

The ACA provision that required exclusive purchase of an often more expensive ACA plan was recently delayed by the federal government until 2015, following an announcement by President Barack Obama that the provision would be ignored.

The president made the announcement after hundreds of thousands of people across the country who had insurance were notified that their policies were being canceled.

The implementation of the ACA has also been affected by major problems with the website (www.healthcare.gov) that was supposed to allow the public to purchase their low cost or replacement health insurance policies.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises 47 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.

Also headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina (www.BlueChoiceSC.com) also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.