Anthem Blue Cross Pulling out of Santa Barbara – California News

Anthem Blue Cross Pulling out of Santa Barbara – California News

Insurance Provider Leaving 16 of State’s Covered California Regions

Nearly 44,000 people in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties are losing their individual health insurance plans in 2018. Of those, just a little more than half receive subsidized insurance from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). (Group insurance is not affected.) Unless another carrier emerges, those consumers must look to Blue Shield as the only available health insurance option.

Last week, Anthem announced it would pull out of most of California’s individual markets. President Trump’s plan to dismantle the ACA has prompted insurance carriers throughout the nation to worry they won’t be able to rely on federal subsidies. “Unfortunately, uncertainty in the health insurance market does not provide the clarity and confidence we need to offer affordable coverage to our members in 2018,” Anthem executives said in a statement.

“This is not okay,” Santa Barbara Congressmember Salud Carbajal wrote in an email this week, urging people who have trouble during the open enrollment period, which begins on November 1, to contact his office. He expressed frustration that Trump’s threats to refuse to pay cost sharing reductions have destabilized insurance markets. This insecurity, he said, is expected to lead to higher premiums. Last week, Covered California ​— ​the state’s ACA vehicle ​— ​announced premiums are expected to increase by an average of 12.5…

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