- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is reacting to losses in its ACA marketplace business by cutting spending elsewhere.
- Effective June 1, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois will no longer accept credit card payments from members who purchase their own insurance on or off the state’s exchange market, The Chicago Tribune reported.
- Customers were alerted to the new payment policy last month.
The change underscores the impact of the insurer's ACA losses as well as the industry's turn toward out-of-the-box thinking. Blue Cross is among a number of carriers working to reduce costs after absorbing new enrollees under the Affordable Care Act that turned out to be sicker and more expensive than anticipated. Other industry measures have included lay-offs and ending commissions to brokers selling ACA plans.
In a March report, The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association said people who enrolled in individual health plans in 2014 and 2015 had higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, coronary artery disease, HIV, and hepatitis C than people who were insured before ACA took effect.
While credit cards will no longer be accepted as a form of insurance payment, Blue Cross will still accept debit cards and other forms of payment.
In an email announcing the change, Blue Cross said, “Credit card fees are a significant expense that impacts all members, not just those who use credit as a payment option,” according to the Tribune.
The association, which represents 36 health plans across the U.S., released the report ahead of the deadline for payers to file rate requests for 2017.
Group enrollees and Medicare beneficiaries will not be affected by the change.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Health Care Service Corp., which operates the Illinois plan and other Blue Cross plans in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Montana and Texas, extended the new credit card policy to those other states as well.