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Empire Changes New York ACA Individual Health Plans in 2018

July 27, 2017
A Message from Lawrence G. Schreiber, CEBS
President of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New York 
 
For more than 80 years, we’ve been proud to offer affordable health plans that give New Yorkers in our service area access to quality health care. In 2014, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) started, we created a new set of quality, affordable health plans to offer consumers through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also called the exchange. 
 
But the market for these plans has become unstable. And with federal rules and guidance changing, it’s no longer possible for us to offer those plans. 
 
Starting in 2018, we will adjust our Individual market offerings 
This is not an easy decision for us. We know that changes like these can have a real impact on the people we serve. Nothing will change this year. In 2018, Empire will discontinue our current individual plans and introduce new ones. Our new portfolio will include standard ACA compliant benefit plans. Impacted subscribers will be able to enroll in one of the new plans through the New York State of Health Marketplace or direct from Empire. We will also continue offering our Dental plans.  This change does not impact our group plan offerings.
 
We’re committed to helping you find health plan options for 2018 and beyond, and we’ll continue to work hard to find new ways to keep health care benefits affordable. If you’re affected by this change, you’ll have plenty of time to prepare. In late July, we sent you a formal notice in the mail telling you that your plan is ending in 2018. As we get closer to open enrollment, we’ll update this page with new information. So you may want to bookmark it to return here easily. In the meantime, if you have questions, please take a look at the frequently asked questions (FAQs) and links to other resources below.
 
Q: I have an Empire individual ACA health plan - when do I have to find new coverage?
A: Nothing is changing with your Empire ACA health plan in 2017. Later this year, you’ll have to shop for a new plan for 2018. You’ll do this during the open enrollment period starting November 1. We sent affected members an official notice that their plan is ending in late July, along with information on options for next year. We’ll help you connect with the right people to find a new plan.
 
Q: I didn’t switch to an ACA plan, my individual health plan is grandfathered. Does this affect me?
A: No, this change affects Empire’s ACA individual health plans only.
 
Q: Is Empire also discontinuing individual dental plans in New York?
A: No, this change affects Empire’s individual ACA health plans only. We’ll continue to offer dental plans in New York.
 
Q: I get health benefits from my employer. Does this affect me?
A: No, this change affects Empire’s individual ACA health plans only. Plans sponsored by employers are not impacted.
 
Q: I have an Empire Medicare plan. Does this affect me?
A: No, this change affects Empire’s individual ACA health plans only. Empire’s Medicare plans are not impacted.
 
Additional resources