Blue Cross Blue Shield: What you need to know

The following story is information regarding Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Tennessee pulling out of the health individual insurance market in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis regions. The interview was conducted by Lauren Davis and interviewed Blake McCoy, the President of Independent Insurance Consultants.


By Lauren Davis | Posted: Tue 5:27 PM, Sep 27, 2016 | Updated: Tue 5:40 PM, Sep 27, 2016

Some big news for those of you with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee. The company is pulling out of the East Tennessee region as well as Memphis and Nashville. Over 31,000 people in Knoxville alone will be affected by the new move. Local 8 News Anchor Lauren Davis talked to an insurance advisor to see how this will affect you.

Blake McCoy is an independent insurance consultant and helps others figure out which plan is right for you and your family. He’s been very busy after the Blue Cross Blue Shield announcement. McCoy says, “People are panicking because they don’t know their options yet, but they know the plan is ending for them.”

We went to find out what you need to know. First, this does not affect medicare plans , tenncare plans or the employer plans. It only affects Blue Cross customers on Obamacare. McCoy says, “If you’re in one of those counties, you can’t keep a plan at all. You’ll have to find new carrier or go without.”

Humana is the only other carrier in the East Tennessee region, but their prices are unknown until November first. Their rates are expected to increase 20 percent. Healthcare provider Cigna is already in Nashville, so there is some talk in the industry they may expand to Knoxville. Blake says your best option is to call a consultant. McCoy says, “If you’re affected, then find out what your options are call an independent brokerage like us.”
It’s a big change, that comes with a lot of questions, but no answers yet about prices until November first.

If you don’t live in the affected county, Blue Cross will still offer you coverage, but it will be a 62 percent increase. McCoy also said they’ve had customers saying if they can’t pay the premiums they will just have to go without insurance. Remember there’s a fine for those who don’t have insurance. Currently that fine is 2.5% of your annual income.