Carrier News

BCBS 2018 Discontinuation Notices Explained

In 2018, BCBS will update their entire portfolio of ACA-compliant regulated small group (1-50) plans. All 2017 plans will be replaced with new 2018 plans with different plan name. As a result, existing BCBS small groups with ACA-compliant plans will be required to change plans at renewal in 2018. BCBS will map each plan to the closest comparable 2018 plan.

Grandfathered plans and plans offered under transitional relief are not impacted by the portfolio update.

Brokers Beware: Regulations require BCBS to issue a formal “Notice of Discontinuation” to impacted employers and employees because, technically, their plans are being “discontinued.” The language used in the letters is misleading. BCBS is not canceling coverage. They are simply fulfilling a requirement to notify customers. BCBS mailed the letters this week to employers with 1/1/2018 renewals and their employees.

Why the change? CMS finalized numerous changes for 2018 including changes to the actuarial values of metallic bands, the way children under 21yo are rated, and the actuarial value calculator insurers are required to use to verify their plan compliance. Conforming to the changes required an extensive overhaul.

BCBS expects to obtain plan and rate approvals from regulators in the coming days. When they do, they will publish their plan materials and begin quoting for 1/1 in small group.

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