BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Pulls Out of Obamacare Exchange

As heavy losses and rising uncertainty threaten the sustainability of the Affordable Care Act across the country, yet another major health care giant will no longer sell insurance plans on the Obamacare exchange next year.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBST) announced this week that is has made “an extremely difficult but necessary decision” to leave the Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville markets – the three biggest in the state – according to The Tennessean.

The decision was largely spurred by the health care provider’s inability to hit a break-even point three years in a row, with losses expected only to rise if the provider remained on the exchange in 2017.

“It’s not something we want to do but we believe we must look out for the health care and financial security for all the members that we serve,” said Roy Vaughn, chief communications officer of BCBST, in an interview with The Tennessean.

The move comes just a few months after BCBST was granted state approval to increase the average premium of its members by 62 percent, a rate hike that is still pending federal approval.

Regardless, the premium increases will still not be enough to offset BCBST’s estimated losses from three years of selling on the exchange, which will ultimately cost the provider an anticipated $500 million by the end of the year, The Tennessean reports.

And now with more and more insurers across the state opting out of the exchange, Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak called Obamacare’s current operations “very near collapse” in Tennessee.

Head over to The Tennessean for the full story.