Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Announces Details of Plans to be Available on the Health Insurance Marketplace
KC’s only local not-for-profit health insurance company shares particulars of what to expect from ACA-compliant plan options.
September 25, 2013
KANSAS CITY – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) today announced details of the Blue KC health insurance plans they are offering on the Health Insurance Marketplace, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
“Consistent with our mission and long-standing commitment to the community, these new plans build on our goal to offer a broad range of health care coverage options that fit the needs of individuals and families who call Kansas City their home,” said David Gentile, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue KC.
“We’ve worked hard to ensure our new products offer the same value, service and support that our members have enjoyed for 75 years. Health insurance is one of the most significant decisions families make. All individuals entering the market under the ACA should fully understand what they’re buying and trust who they’re buying from.”
The ACA mandates that all individual plans must provide coverage at designated “metal” levels. The defined metal, or coverage, levels are platinum, gold, silver and bronze. While monthly premiums are higher for a platinum plan, subscribers will pay less when they use the plan in the form of deductibles, coinsurance and copays. Conversely, the bronze plan monthly premiums will be lower, but deductibles, coinsurance and copays will be higher.
Pricing differences within metal levels are also determined by network choice. Blue KC networks include Preferred-Care Blue which offers Blue KC members the largest selection of providers within our 32-county area, and Blue Select, a new more limited provider network, available in Clay, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.
Blue KC will also offer product families at a variety of metal levels. “Blue & U First” provides 100 percent in-network coverage after deductible, and the first four office visits come with no out-of-pocket cost to the member. The “Blue & U Saver” is an alternative for the more budget-minded consumer. As in all plans, it includes coverage for preventive care prior to deductible but tends to have a lower deductible that must be met before other benefits are paid. “Blue & U Classic” is an insurance plan designed for individuals and families that want cost certainty through copays when they need commonly-used services along with coverage for unexpected accidents or illness.
The following chart outlines the Blue KC product families, metal levels and network choices.
While Blue KC plans will still be available for purchase directly, they will also be available through the new Health Insurance Marketplace. Final details on how the Health Insurance Marketplace will operate are still forthcoming. However, Blue KC is committed to making the shopping and enrollment process as easy as possible, and will offer trusted support to all enrollees as they use their benefits.
Gentile added, “We want to encourage everyone who is using the Health Insurance Marketplace to closely evaluate their options. Choosing the best health insurance for you and your family is much more complicated than buying an airline ticket. An online marketplace can’t provide personalized guidance to help you make the best decision. Health insurance brokers and agents are experts on helping individuals find plans that best fit their needs and budgets. Look for advice from someone you trust before investing in something that can have lasting effects on your health and pocketbook.”
Because of the complex nature of the health insurance industry and the wide variety of benefits, networks, copays and deductibles available, it is important to do thorough research to help select the right plan. Shoppers are encouraged to visit BlueKC.com, call Blue KC directly at 1-800-645-8356 or talk to a broker to help guide them through the process. In addition, shoppers are welcome at the new Live Blue neighborhood wellness centers, now open in Zona Rosa and opening October 15 in Prairie Village. The centers have associates standing by to assist those seeking coverage.
Pricing will be available on October 1. Applicants can get more information about the Affordable Care Act and see an estimate of approximately how much financial assistance they qualify may for, by using the Subsidy Calculator at KCHealthCareReform.org.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. *Ranked by J.D. Power and Associates in 2013 as “Highest Member Satisfaction among Commercial Health Plans in the Heartland Region, Two Years in a Row,” Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to use our role as the area's leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health and wellness of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.
* Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City received the highest numerical score among commercial health plans in the Heartland region (AR, IA, KS, MO, NE, OK) in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2012-2013 U.S. Member Health Plan StudySM. 2013 study based on 33,533 total member responses, measuring 11 plans in the Heartland Region (excludes Medicare and Medicaid). Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of members surveyed December 2012-January 2013. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.