Thursday, February 4, 2016

Andrew Brod's Legacy; "Blue Cross projects $400M loss in NC on ACA in just 2 years"

"Blue Cross, the state’s largest health insurer, provided the grim financial update to insurance agents this week as a rationale for ending payments to the agents and for terminating its advertising of ACA policies. The Chapel Hill insurer also plans to stop accepting applications online through a web link that provides insurance price quotes. The move is an attempt to screen ACA applicants and verify they are eligible for health insurance.

...UnitedHealthcare and Aetna had previously said they would stop paying agent commissions, moves calculated to limit ACA enrollment. Without a sales commission, an agent will not be paid for directing a client to a particular insurer, giving the agent no financial incentive to make the sale...

...The not-for-profit company raised rates by an average of 32.5 percent for 2016, with the approval of the N.C. Department of Insurance, saying the increase was necessary to ensure financial solvency.

...people who buy insurance during the special enrollment period end up costing twice as much in medical claims as other ACA customers. Some of those special enrollment customers stay insured just several months, enough time to rack up medical expenses for Blue Cross to pay, before discontinuing coverage...

“People getting on insurance, getting benefits and dropping out – I wouldn’t call that fraud,” Linker said. “That’s a reflection of the desperation people have. People are just struggling with the price of health care so they’re going to do whatever they can to get care.”