Policy holders react to BCBS decision - abc27 WHTM

Policy holders react to BCBS decision

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Nearly 90,000 people in Alabama are forced to choose how and if they can pay for health care.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama announced Wednesday it will not extend plans that fail to meet Affordable Care Act guidelines.

The insurer says keeping existing plans for another year would lead to higher health costs and legal issues. But most of the new policies cost more, leaving some policy holders, like Connie Smith, to make a decision they never wanted to make.

"It is really is scary," Smith says.

Smith is a retired BCBS policy holder. She says the plan she has been automatically enrolled in costs her $50 dollars more on her premium and more than $5000 annually on her deductible.

The BCBS of Alabama announcement reads, in part, "We have not reached this conclusion easily and have been in continuous consultation with the Alabama Department of Insurance in evaluating all options."

Smith says she plans to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

"If it has the same kind of coverage that I have now then, yes, I will try," Smith says.

ABC 33/40 also checked in with other insurance providers. A United Healthcare spokesperson says the company is quote "still assessing implications of the latest guidelines." Humana says it has not canceled any plans. Policy holders have until the end of the year to decide between two options: keep their current plans until the end of next year or switch to an ACA-compliant plan beginning January.


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