BCBSAZ Announces Oct 2015 Rates for Individual Grandfathered Health Plans

July 28, 2015

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) recently mailed individual grandfathered renewal letters.  Individual members with Suite A grandfathered plans with October 2015 renewal dates will be the first to receive their letters and renewal information.

The rate increase for these plans will be 18.5% (average, not including age adjustments.)  Some affected members will be able to increase their deductible within their product to help mitigate the rate increase, however they cannot move to a different grandfathered plan. BCBSAZ is discontinuing the BluePreferred Original individual product effective December 31, 2015.

For Members with Plans Continuing in 2016

Though they will have the option to renew their current plan, some members may consider switching to a non-grandfathered individual plan. Before doing so, they should be aware of the benefits grandfathered plans offer.  Grandfathered plans provide access to a large network of providers, out-of-state coverage, and, in most cases, lower monthly premiums than those found with a non-grandfathered plans.

For Members with Plans Scheduled to be Discontinued

Members enrolled in BluePreferred Original can stay in their plans until December 31, 2015. While this only affects a small number of members, these members must select a new plan by December 15th to ensure a January 1, 2016 effective date.

All Affordable Care Act compliant plans renew on January 1st.  This year, open enrollment for every individual begins on November 1st, and ends on January 31st. Watch for more information on renewal communications, including those to members enrolled in grandmothered and non-grandfathered plans, coming soon.

If you have any questions or help considering your options, please contact your insurance broker, L & A Services at 602-996-6010.

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Can you keep your health plan?

August 1, 2014

Grandfathered health plans are those purchased with no major changes since March 23, 2010. Some insurance companies choose not to renew grandfathered health plans, while others are preserving these contracts. If your insurance company has not forced you off of your grandfathered plan yet, it is likely you will be able to continue your plan.

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Grandmothered health plans are those purchased (or changed) after March 23, 2010, but before January 1, 2014. In an effort to facilitate the transition  from a grandmothered plan to a new Affordable Care Act-compliant plan, the federal government approved an extension for these plans, known as  ‘transitional relief’. Arizona also approved the transitional relief, but final decisions were left with the insurance companies. Below are a list of the insurance  companies and how they decided to handle their grandmothered small group and individual health plans in Arizona:

Company’s allowing you to KEEP your plan in 2015:

  • BCBSAZ (Individual)
  • BCBSAZ (Small Group) – if renewing 8/1 – 12/15
  • Golden Rule (UH1 Individual)
  • Humana (Small Group)
  • Assurant Health (All)

Company’s that require a REPLACEMENT plan starting in 2015:

  • Aetna (Individual)
  • HumanaOne
  • HealthNet – already transitioned to ACA plans

How long these plan will be extended for depends on the insurance company. Please refer to the notice you receive from your insurance company for details.

If your insurance company is not listed here, contact us and we can find out if your plan will need to be replaced in January or not.

In some cases, a new plan may be a better solution than your current plan. We recommend you contact your broker or L & A Services to review your options during the 2015 open enrollment, which runs from November 15th, 2014 – February 15th, 2015. After open enrollment, you must have a qualifying life event to purchase health insurance.

This information is accurate as of the day of this post, and is subject to changes made by the USA, the state of AZ, and/or the insurance companies themselves.