Obamacare primary cause for Blue Cross of Alabama’s predicted $135 million 2015 loss

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is expecting to lose more than $135 million in 2015, thanks in large part to Obamacare. According to a statement obtained by AL.com from BCBS-AL spokeswoman Koko Mackin, “Beginning in 2014, the ACA eliminated health underwriting and waiting periods for pre-existing conditions allowing individuals to buy healthcare coverage regardless of their health condition. Company data indicates that many of our new individual ACA customers have used an extensive amount of medical services, which is causing total claims paid and their related operating expenses to exceed premiums.”

Year-end final figures for 2015 will not be announced until the beginning of March. But the insurance company has already tallied losses through the end of October, totaling $109 million.

Because of its enormous losses, BCBS-AL raised statewide rates by an average of 28 percent for the 2016 Obamacare policies now being sold. According to the statement, they have also eliminated platinum and some gold-level plans, as well as slightly shrunk its workforce. It remains to be seen how effective these measures will be in side-stepping future losses.

About 11 million Americans, including nearly 200,000 from Alabama, get health insurance through the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.

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