Anthem Blue Cross to all but leave the individual market in CA

Anthem Blue Cross has announced that they will offer Individual/Family plans in three regions of Northern California only next year, which will include most upper northern counties, Santa Clara County, and the Stockton/Modesto area.  Anthem BC will continue to offer their EPO product in these areas. Members outside of these areas will have their existing coverage through the end of this calendar year. Enrollment in new coverage from a new carrier can take place during the open enrollment period (Nov 1 through Dec. 15) with coverage starting January 1. This affects both on-exchange (CoveredCA) and off-exchange market plans.

This does NOT affect Medicare Supplements, Medicaid, employer based plans, and Grandfathered plans (plans in effect prior to 2010).

So why the exit? Too risky. The instability of the marketplace, the shrinking Individual market, and heavy regulatory environment makes pricing plans with any confidence impossible. They will leave it to others and wait for workable changes from Washington.

Phil Dougherty