Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas says it will take advantage of a shift in federal regulations and continue to allow members to keep plans that were not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act.
The Obama administration announced this week that insurers could continue to offer the plans through October 1, 2016, pending approval from their states. The plans previously had been extended one year. Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger informed insurers Thursday that she would grant that approval, leaving the final decision up to the insurers.
Blue Cross Blue Shield announced Friday that it would honor the extension. Members who are currently enrolled in a non-grandfathered BCBS Kansas plan may continue to renew them annually through Oct. 1, 2016. At the same time, BCBS says members still may choose purchasing a new plan that meets all benefits defined by the Affordable Care Act.
BCBS said last fall that nearly 10,000 customers had policies that did not meet ACA criteria.
BCBS says it will provide additional information to customers as their policies come due for renewal. Their first priority will be small business owners who have renewals in April, May and June. Customers with individual plans effective Jan. 1, 2014, will have until later in 2014 to make decisions for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2015.