Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Kansas Explains Health Policy Decisions

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas is defending a decision that has more than 9400 Kansans looking for new health insurance policies by the first of the year.

BCBS spokesperson Mary Beth Chambers confirms that about 35 percent of the company's approximately 27,000 individual contracts - or around 9450 customers - did not meet requirements to be grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act.

The ACA requires that all plans sold after January 1, 2014 include essential health benefits and no-cost preventative care.

While BCBS plans usually run thru March 31st, Chambers says those affected were notified the plans would end December 31st. She says the move complies with the ACA's intent to follow calendar-year cycles and offers potential tax benefits to policyholders.

As for assertions from critics that such cancellations are proof insurance companies were offering so-called "junk" plans that didn't really cover consumers, Chambers said that was not the case. She says the plans "offered comprehensive benefits and a variety of cost-sharing options so a consumer could pick a plan that fit their needs."