Emails (excerpted), Edna  Pérez-Vega, senior manager, media and public relations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Jan. 22, 2016

11:23 a.m.

BCBSTX offers health insurance in all 254 counties in Texas and is the only health insurance provider offering individuals access to health insurance through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace in 58 of those counties.  Last year we informed members that we would no longer offer PPO's to individual policy holders, but would work to transition them to other available insurance plans for individuals so they would not experience a gap in coverage. Those who have been transitioned also have the option of choosing different plans for 2016.  We worked with the members and their providers to minimize the impact of this change to their ongoing care, particularly if they needed to transfer their care to other providers. Group members, grandfathered individual PPO members, Medicaid members and Medicare members are not impacted by this change.

Best,

Edna Pérez-Vega

Sr. Manager, Media & Public Relations

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas 

2:13 p.m.

As one the of oldest and most respected health insurance providers in the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is committed to providing affordable and sustainable health insurance plans to the greatest amount of members across all Texas markets.

Our present, retail market PPO plan, offered directly to individual consumers on and off the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchange, has become economically unsustainable, paying out more than $400 million in claims than it earned in premiums. We have informed members who enrolled in this plan of this fact and will both discontinue this plan at the end of 2015 and work to transition impacted members to a plan that meets their health needs. This change became effective on January 1, 2016.

·        We shared this information well in advance of the required notification date of October 1. Media was alerted in July and ed board visits were conducted in September.

We encouraged members to be prepared to research other plan options on October 10, when the full range of plan offerings were publicly released, and to work with BCBSTX on any necessary continuity of care arrangements.  We are standing by to assist any impacted members through this process.

Gardner Selby

2:14 p.m.

When would customers like Cruz have been notified, generally?

Edna  Pérez-Vega

2:24 p.m.

Members were notified in the days leading up to Oct 1.