Arkansas Blue Cross Prepares for Change

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, May. 21, 2012 12:00 am  

Arkansas Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Little Rock saw revenue rise to $1.27 billion in 2011. (Photo by Mike Pirnique)

“My sense, based on what I know today, is certainly our administration is going to be more complex than it has been,” he said.

ABCBS will have to scrutinize its products and rates, he said.

Some parts of health care reform have already taken affect. Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children under the age of 19, and group policies must cover dependents up to age 26.

In addition, the minimum loss ratio for insurance companies has gone into effect. For groups with fewer than 100 employees, insurance companies have to spend 80 percent of the premium collected on medical care or send policyholders a refund. For groups with more than 100 people, the minimum loss ratio is 85 percent.

“We have to be a lot smarter in the future than we’ve been in the past [and] be more efficient,” White said.

Hatcher, of the Hatcher Agency, said he expects that Arkansas Blue Cross’ premiums will continue to rise if ACA is upheld because health insurance companies will be required to cover more procedures than they cover now.

And that costs more money, he said.

“That’s the part the customer doesn’t always understand,” Hatcher said. “The more things you cover, the more claims are paid out.”

 

 

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