Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City will not offer Afforda - KCTV5

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City will not offer Affordable Care Act plans next year

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City says they will not offer or renew individual Affordable Care Act plans in the company’s 32-county service area in Kansas and Missouri for 2018.  (AP) Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City says they will not offer or renew individual Affordable Care Act plans in the company’s 32-county service area in Kansas and Missouri for 2018. (AP)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City says they will not offer or renew individual Affordable Care Act plans in the company’s 32-county service area in Kansas and Missouri for 2018.

This decision will affect Blue KC members with both on- and off- exchange individual plans but does not affect individual plans that were purchased on or prior to Oct. 1, 2013.

“Since 2014, we’ve expended significant resources to offer individual ACA plans to increase access to quality healthcare coverage for the Kansas City community,” said Danette Wilson, President and CEO of Blue KC. “Like many other health insurers across the country, we have been faced with challenges in this market. Through 2016, we have lost more than $100 million. This is unsustainable for our company. We have a responsibility to our members and the greater community to remain stable and secure, and the uncertain direction of this market is a barrier to our continued participation.”

Blue KC has more than 1 million members, and this will affect approximately 67,000.

This decision will not affect 2017 coverage. It also does not affect Blue KC members who are covered under one of its “grandfathered” or “grandmothered” plans.

These plans were purchased on or prior to Oct. 1, 2013.

Additionally, members who receive coverage through their employers, as well as those who purchased a Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, short-term or student health plan from Blue KC, are not affected.

“This decision is necessary at this time, but we’ll continue to work with federal and state legislators to identify solutions that will stabilize the individual market and bring costs down for our members, the community and Blue KC,” said Wilson.

When Janette Reinke heard that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City was leaving the marketplace, she wasn't surprised. 

However, it wasn't until she saw a tweet that she realized how much it would impact her. 

"To lose that, I was…then the immediate thought was what do I do about the medicine that I need to take? Am I going to have to go off of it come January? What do I do?”

The announcement was felt in hospitals as well. 

“They read the same newspapers, listen to the same news stories, watch the same TV stations as people that have stability in their insurance," Truman Medical Center CEO Charlie Shields said. "So, they saw it coming and we actually saw people begin to drop out of the exchanges because they thought this was going to happen.” 

While lawmakers scramble to put in a new plan, people like Reinke are left in the lurch. 

“People are trying, Congress is trying, and I don’t know if anybody really knows the solution," Reinke said. "At the same time, it was what there was…was something.”

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