HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - BlueCross and BlueShield of Alabama will not reinstate current health plans that do not comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
The statement said in part that "the temporary reinstatement of policies that are non-ACA compliant would create dual classes of policyholders and destabilize the state's insurance market," driving up costs for all customers.
The company said the legal and financial risks of policies that don't meet ACA standards are too great to ignore. Representatives said they have worked for three years to develop plans that meet those standards.
BlueCross BlueShield's statement comes days after President Obama announced that anyone liking his pre-Obamacare coverage would be able to keep it.
You can read the statement in full here (http://bit.ly/17qCCjP - pdf file).
Congressman Robert Aderholt issued a statement in response to the BlueCross BlueShield announcement:
"If you look beyond the problems associated with the healthcare.gov website, the bottom line is that the things we have been warning about Obamacare are now coming true.
The reason that the insurance companies cannot offer the same plans for the same price is that Obamacare changed the cost equation. Despite whatever the President wants to say, the actual numbers don't add up.
Healthcare is complicated and you cannot make policy changes at the drop of a hat. Further, despite his best efforts to create one, there is no 'magic wand' available to the President to waive away unworkable portions of the law without Congress. Quite frankly, the President is now seeing what many Democrats in Congress have already accepted, Obamacare just plain does not work."
Families across northern Alabama are already in sticker shock over the new policy prices.
Mary Elizabeth Comulada was alerted that the family health insurance policy she uses with her two children and her husband has been banned under the Affordable Care Act, and offered her a plan that complies with the act with higher deductibles for almost twice the price.
"How can my premium double per month? How can our deductible go up on every single family member? And yet you're providing me the same plan; and they said 'well, the answer is we now can't turn anybody down,'" Comulada said.
Comulada said she was actually able to get onto the ACA website, but even there, the cheapest policies offered were dramatically more expensive than what she used to have.
Alabama joins other states where insurance customers will not get their old policies reinstated. State officials in Indiana said previously cancelled policies are still cancelled because of the logistical chaos reinstatement could cause.
The governor of Minnesota made a similar decision this week. He said after talking to the state's largest insurers, allowing a one-year extension would cause too much confusion.