Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico pulling out of state’s health insurance exchange

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Insurer will not be providing individual coverage through state’s exchange next year

Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico will be exiting the New Mexico health insurance exchange next year, according to the state’s Superintendent of Insurance, John Franchini. The insurer is pulling out of the exchange marketplace after having its rate increase proposal denied by state regulators. Blue Cross Blue Shield had sought approval for a significant increase in premiums for coverage it would provide in 2016, but state regulators found that the amount that the insurer wanted to increases premiums by was unjustified.

Company had requested a 51.6% increase in premiums

The insurer had requested approval for a rate increase on individual policies it sold through the state’s exchange averaging 51.6%. After reviewing the proposal, state regulators determined that the rate increase was not necessary, thereby rejecting it. The rate increase would have affected some 35,000 people in the state who receive health insurance coverage from the company through the state’s exchange as well as directly from the insurer. These people will not have to find other insurance providers that will provide them with coverage for 2016.

Several of the company’s policies will remain in effect for 2016

Capital Building Santa Fe New Mexico health insuranceAccording to Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico, all current insurance policies for individuals will remain in effect until the end of this year. The decision will not affect small and large groups or commercial customers, however. Individuals with dental insurance will also not be affected by the decision. Notably, those with the company’s Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug and Medicaid products will not be affected and can retain their coverage.

Other insurers will continue to provide coverage through health insurance exchange

Consumers will still have access to other options through the state’s health insurance exchange. Other insurers providing coverage through the exchange have requested much more modest rate increases, which were approved by state regulators. Some insurers have requested significant rate hikes in order to recover from financial losses associated with more people having insurance coverage and the growing frequency at which these people are using their coverage.

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