Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina recently announced that it will no longer offer its Blue Local plan under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for the 2019 coverage year. The move to drop Blue Local is intended to help Blue Cross of NC lower health insurance rates by about 4% across the state. Blue Cross CEO Patrick Conway said some people could even see “more than a 10 percent decrease” in costs, but it’s not all good news for those covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield in Durham.
BCBS says they are dropping the plan in order to decrease premiums for policyholders who purchase coverage through the ACA’s health insurance marketplace. Unfortunately, in order to cancel Blue Local, BCBS will no longer cover Duke Health or WakeMed as in-network providers. Meaning around 50,000 people who are patients of Duke Health and WakeMed will lose their in-network benefits and affordable coverage or have to find new doctors who are covered under Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.
Members who need to keep their BCBS coverage will have to transfer to the UNC Health Alliance network rather than keeping access Duke Health and WakeMed at in-network rates. If patients do not find new doctors who are part of the UNC Health Alliance, members will have to pay higher costs to access Duke Health and WakeMed services under the ACA-compliant BCBS plan.
Will you have to choose between losing your insurance or losing your doctor?
While the changes to BCBS’ coverage options will benefit some communities, it poses a serious risk to others. Fortunately, Savers Health is able to offer health insurance coverage that will allow you to keep your health care coverage and your doctors at Duke Health or WakeMed, all without paying higher out-of-pocket costs.