Knoxville residents will not be without an insurer offering Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans on the marketplace in 2018, after all. After Humana announced its departure, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee said it would offer ACA plans in the city, which looked to be one of the first without ACA insurance coverage next year.
However, it’s unknown how expensive the plans will be. Insurers in three other states have requested double-digit rate increases for 2018, and in 2017, Blue Cross hiked its premiums by 62 percent from 2016 levels. The insurance giant also noted that the decision to offer these plans in Knoxville isn’t an indication that they believe the market will be stable and warned that higher rates may be charged due to the potential negative impact of federal legislative/regulatory changes.
In particular, insurers are waiting for confirmation that the cost-sharing subsidies will continue for low-income plans. Meanwhile, Congress is moving forward with efforts to repeal the health insurance tax and the individual mandate, both of which present a risk for Blue Cross as well.