BCBSNE Will Allow Customers to Keep Current Health Insurance

OMAHA (Nov. 25, 2013) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) announced Monday it will allow individual policyholders who received cancel-and-replace notices the option of keeping their current 2013 plan, or choosing new insurance that complies with requirements of the health care law.

BCBSNE’s 2013 individual plans will now be effective from December 31, 2013, through December 31, 2014, for customers with coverage in place by 12/31/2013. A provision in state insurance law allows BCBSNE to set an “early” renewal date and keep the 2013 policies in force.

“Simply stated, we’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do for our customers,” said Steve Martin, BCBSNE President and CEO. “We are glad to have the opportunity to offer customers the choice between their current plans and 2014 plans that comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”

BCBSNE individual customers (those not covered by an employer) will be notified by letters being mailed Wednesday, Nov. 27, of their options to continue with their current coverage through 2014, or choose an ACA-compliant plan that may qualify for cost assistance from the federal government. Current 2013 plans that are being renewed on 12-31 do not qualify for federal cost assistance.

If current individual customers take no action on the options they receive in the mailing, their current 2013 benefits will continue through Dec. 31, 2014. If customers want to choose a 2014 ACA-compliant plan, they will need to work with their local agent or return an enclosed form by Friday, Dec. 13.

For BCBSNE customers who have already chosen a 2014 ACA-compliant plan by sending notification, they will remain on the new plan unless they notify BCBSNE or work with their agent to revert to 2013 coverage.

In addition to normal Customer Service Center hours of 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, BCBSNE’s Customer Service will have special hours from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30. Customer Service number: 877-693-7091.

“Customers will need to process their options quickly,” said BCBSNE’s Tom Gilsdorf, Director, Product Development. “We’re working diligently to ensure everyone is covered on the plan of their choice.”

Monthly premium rates for the 2013 plans are being determined, and will be filed by December 2. Along with a standard age adjustment that is applied to plans each January, customers will likely experience a premium increase.

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For more information, contact Nathan Odgaard, (402) 982-6528.



The percentage of the bill you pay after your deductible has been met.


A fixed amount you pay when you get a covered health service.

Tiered benefit plan

A health care plan featuring multiple levels of benefits based on the network status of a particular provider. 


The annual amount you pay for covered health services before your insurance begins to pay.

emergency care services

Any covered services received in a hospital emergency room setting.


Includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy

in-network provider

A provider contracted by your insurance company to accept an agreed upon payment for covered services. 

OUT-OF-network provider

A term for providers that aren’t contracting with your insurance company. (Your out-of-pocket costs will tend to be more expensive if you go to an out-of-network provider.)


Your expenses for medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance, including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments.


If you can afford health insurance, but choose not to buy it, you must have a health coverage exemption or pay a tax penalty on your federal income tax return.


The amount you pay to your health insurance company each month. 

Preventive services

Health care services that focus on the prevention of disease and health maintenance.


Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured or have surgery. This includes physical, occupational and speech therapy.

special enrollment period

The time after the Open Enrollment Period when you can still purchase health insurance only if you have a qualifying life event (losing other health coverage, having a baby, getting married, moving).


A physician who has a majority of his or her practice in fields other than internal or general medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics or family practice.