BlueCross meets ObamaCare standards

BlueCross meets ObamaCare standards

June 3rd, 2013 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee headquarters sits above downtown Chattanooga.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee headquarters sits above downtown...

Photo by Jenna Walker /Times Free Press.

Tennessee's biggest health insurer stayed within the spending standards of the new Affordable Care Act during 2012 and, unlike last year, will not be required to issue any customer rebates this year.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee announced today that it met the federal minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) requirements for all lines of business during 2012. BlueCross paid out 83.1 percent of what it collected from individuals for medical services last year, exceeding the minimum 80 percent payout required under ObamaCare for individual plans. For large employers with more than 100 employees, BlueCross paid out 89.1 percent of the premiums it collected for medical services, exceeding the 85 percent minimum requirement.

"Historically, the BlueCross medical loss ratios have been within the ranges set by the Affordable Care Act as we've always worked to ensure our members' premium dollars are going toward their care and peace of mind," Calvin Anderson, senior vice president and chief of staff for BlueCross, said in a statement. "We have a continuing commitment to control costs on all fronts and to improve the quality of care received by our members as well as their overall health."

The health care reform law sets minimum requirements for how much insurance companies are required to spend on health care services and activities to improve health quality and what they may keep to pay their own expenses, including selling their products, handling the payment of claims and information and paying taxes and new service fees.

Last year in the first year of the new health reform law requirements, BlueCross refunded $8.6 million to about 73,000 individual policy holders.