BlueCross gets most Obamacare signups in Tennessee

BlueCross gets most Obamacare signups in Tennessee

March 26th, 2015 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

Aerial photo of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee headquarters in Chattanooga.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

While BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee once again captured the majority of marketplace signups during open enrollment on the exchanges this year, new competition resulted in lower market share for Tennessee's biggest health insurer.

BlueCross announced Wednesday that it had taken 70 percent of market share for those on the exchange. Last year, the Chattanooga-based company dominated with 86 percent of the state's market for those signing up for new plans offered through Obamacare. During this year's enrollment, BlueCross faced new competition from health insurance cooperative Community Health Alliance, which had the lowest premiums on the market this year.

Despite that, BlueCross gained 53,540 members during enrollment this year. The net gain brings the company's total membership through the exchanges to 164,896, BlueCross officials said Wednesday.

"It's important for us to have again earned the trust of the majority of those in the market, including those customers who chose us in the first open enrollment," said Henry Smith, BlueCross' senior vice president of operations and chief marketing officer in a prepared statement.

A snapshot of BlueCross' Marketplace enrollment shows that approximately 80 percent of BlueCross members receive federal tax credits to help pay for their plans, and that the majority of shoppers selected a silver plan.

The average age of those who bought BlueCross marketplace plans is 43, while 27 percent are part of the coveted "young invincibles" category, which includes those age 8 to 34.

The largest percentage of members 29 percent live in the Nashville area

On-Marketplace membership distribution across the state stands at 16 percent in the greater Knoxville area; 12 percent for greater Chattanooga, 13 percent for greater Memphis and 29 percent for Nashville.

Marketplace open enrollment ended Feb. 15. This year, a special enrollment period is being offered from March 15 to April 30 for those who are faced with a tax penalty for not having coverage when filing their 2014 taxes.

Contact Kate Belz at 757-6673 or kbelz@timesfreepress.com.


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