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Blue Cross Blue Shield Pulls Out Of State Exchange

@BeWellNM on Twitter

This week Blue Cross Blue Shield announced it will be pulling out of the state health insurance exchange in January. President Kurt Shipley says the company lost over $19 million in New Mexico this year and is leaving, because state officials denied its request for a 51 percent rate increase.  

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s exit from the state exchange could leave around 35,000 people in New Mexico without insurance at the end of this year, unless those customers find new plans during the November open enrollment period.

But New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange CEO Amy Dowd said that shouldn’t be a problem.

"There will be plenty of choices and options through other insurance carriers, and I have been assured by other New Mexico carriers that they will be able to support consumers as they transition from Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico to new plans in the new year," Dowd said.

Only New Mexicans with individual Blue Cross Blue Shield plans will be affected. Group and employer plans won’t change.

Ed Williams came to KUNM in 2014 by way of Carbondale, Colorado, where he worked as a public radio reporter covering environmental issues. Originally from Austin, Texas, Ed has reported on environmental, social justice, immigration and Native American issues in the U.S. and Latin America for the Austin American-Statesman, Z Magazine, NPR’s Latino USA and others. In his spare time, look for Ed riding his mountain bike in the Sandias or sparring on the jiu-jitsu mat.
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