Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas (BCBSK) filed the initial paperwork needed to participate on the ACA exchange next year, reports KCUR 89.3 public radio. So far BCBSK, the state’s largest insurer, is the only health plan to have filed necessary paperwork. It has until September to decide whether to participate on the exchange.

Mary Beth Chambers, a BCBSK spokeswoman, told the radio station: “We have the intention of continuing both on and off the exchange in 2018 for both individual and small group plans, but at this time we have not yet filed rates.”

What will surely influence the insurer’s decision is whether the government will continue subsidizing health plans for coverage of older and/or sicker people. A bill passed by the House on May 4 and that is now before the Senate would do away with those subsidies. In Kansas, those subsidies help people making less than $30,000 a year with out-of-pocket and copayment expenses. Chambers said that a large number of state residents depend on that help.

She tells KCUR: “We know that the federal government has assured insurers and consumers that the (premium assistance) tax credits will be available for those that want to purchase insurance in 2018, but we really need clarity with regard to the cost-sharing reductions.”

Source: KCUR 89.3

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