Pinal County secures sole insurer, BCBS of Arizona: 4 things to know

Phoenix-based Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona will retract a previous pullback and offer its 2017 Affordable Care Act plan to Arizona's Pinal County, addressing concerns the area would have no insurer participating in the exchange.

Here are four things to know.

1. Ten thousand individuals who signed up for health insurance through the exchange last year will have access to at least one plan come open enrollment Nov. 1. When Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna announced its exchange exit last month, those individuals faced a situation in which no insurer would sell on-exchange plans. This stood in conflict with the ACA's mission, according to The Wall Street Journal.

2. BCBSAZ will be the sole insurer in 13 of Arizona's 15 counties.

3. Rich Boals, president and CEO of BCBSAZ, said the insurer "is trying hard to balance the company's financial losses from the ACA with the very real concerns of Arizonans." He said policymakers and regulators "must find a way to stabilize the market and put long-term fixes in place." 

4. BCBSAZ still plans to pull out of Arizona's most populous county, Maricopa, citing $185 million in losses on individual ACA plans in two years. Approximately 34,000 members will need new plans next year. Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna will be the sole insurer in Maricopa County, according to The Wall Street Journal.  

More articles about payer issues:
Federal estimate of uninsured falls to record low: 7 statistics
States opposed to ACA seeing more exchange struggles
US probe still preventing Cigna from enrolling new Medicare members

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