BCBS of Tennessee to reenter Knoxville region in 2018 following improved ACA exchange results

Chattanooga-based BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will resume selling individual health plans in the Knoxville area following its retraction from the market in 2017, according to a Times Free Press report. 

Here are four things to know.

1. Last September, BCBST announced plans to stop selling on- and off-exchange plans in the Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville regions for 2017. The payer cited $500 million in losses on ACA plans over the past three years as reason for its departure, which affected roughly 100,000 policyholders.   

2. BCBST President J.D. Hickey told Times Free Press the payer will reenter the exchange and sell plans in the 16-county Knoxville area. BCBST will not return to the Memphis or Nashville markets next year.

3. Mr. Hickey said the move follows improved financial results on the 2017 individual exchange. "Though still very early, our 2017 performance has improved due to a combination of better claims experience and a more sustainable rate structure based on the medical needs of the members we're serving," he said in a letter to Tennessee insurance regulators.

4. BCBST's decision means Knoxville residents will have at least one insurer selling individual plans on the ACA exchange next year. Louisville, Ky.-based Humana will exit the Knoxville region come 2018.  

More articles on payer issues:
Iowa ACA marketplace hangs by thread as last major insurer threatens exit
Failed Aetna merger boosts Humana's Q1 profit
Florida Blue billing glitch causes overcharges for 9,500 members

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