BCBST Gets Approval for 62% Marketplace Rate Increase for 2017


So… here’s the deal:BlueCrossBlueShieldLogo

BlueCross has been approved for a 62% Marketplace rate increase by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI). BCBS of Tennessee requested this increase in June in efforts to close the gap between what they’re charging members versus the cost of their members’ medical care. They are among several other carriers in the state granted approval for significant rate increases for Marketplace plans. BCBS serves over 3.4 million people, and this rate increase specifically is in regards to Marketplace plans for those who are not covered through work or Medicare Advantage.

There are continued uncertainties moving forward pertaining to the ACA at the federal level. These concerns, according to BCBST, include “the possible elimination of cost sharing programs for many consumers, the end of risk programs for insurers and the prospects of legislative action”. By mid-September, BlueCross will make a final decision on how they will participate in the 2017 Marketplace.


To read more about FAQs related to this news, click here. We’ve summarized some of their answers to your immediate questions below.

  • Why are rates increasing so much next year?
    • They’ve learned that “members who buy Individual/Marketplace plans are more likely than other Tennesseans to have a chronic condition, and they tend to use more health care services, including emergency room visits and hospital stays”. This has created a huge gap between what they pay out versus what they charge members.
  • When will I know for sure what my 2017 plan will cost?
    • You should get a letter explaining how this increase will affect your plan cost. The 62% rate increase was just approved this week.
  • What are they doing to control costs?
    • BCBS has developed a new network called Network E which enables them to pass along cost savings to their members by focusing on a “few high-quality care providers and negotiating lower rates to hold down costs”.
    • This rate increase should enable BCBS to earn a modest margin this coming year. However, if they had not been approved for this new rate, they not may have been able to continue offering plans to Individual/Marketplace consumers.

Senior Financial Group aims to bring you the latest news regarding your health insurance. Comment below with any of your questions or concerns to discuss this BCBST rate increase. To stay updated with future news, remember to keep up with our blog or subscribe today!

Download our FREE
Medicare 101 Guide

Download our exclusive 20-page guide that covers Medicare from all angles, from coverage types to financing options & more!

Download the 2024 Medicare Guidebook

New to Medicare or need a quick refresh? Download our free 2024 Medicare guide to get everything you need to know.