BCBS of North Carolina to drop grandfathered health plans; 50k affected

Durham-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will discontinue its grandfathered health plans Jan. 1.

Under the ACA, grandfathered health plans constitute plans operating prior to the ACA's signing in 2010. BCBSNC said during the past seven years, enrollment in its grandfathered plans fell from 330,000 in 2010 to 50,000 this year.

With no policyholders entering the grandfathered plans' risk pools, " the group as a whole has gotten older and sicker. That means they have also become more expensive to insure. And as the number of customers continues to dwindle, the cost to continue to offer the plan becomes disproportionate.''

To combat this, BCBSNC said it would have to raise rates significantly in 2018. Instead, beginning Dec. 31, the plans' 50,000 members will need to seek other coverage as their plans expire.

"Many customers transitioning off grandfathered plans will pay more for coverage in 2018. Many will pay quite a bit more. However, we believe that a portion of our affected customers will qualify for subsidies to offset the cost increase," the payer said.  

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