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 Affordable Care Act (ACA), a federal law designed to make healthcare more affordable, accessible and of higher quality.


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.


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


The government Website (healthcare.gov) where you can purchase health insurance and see if you qualify for a tax credit (subsidy) to help with premiums and out-of-pocket costs. 


The window of time from November 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016, when you can purchase health insurance.


A term for providers that aren’t contracting with your insurance company. (Tend to be more expensive than in-network providers.)


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.


Routine health care that includes screenings, check-ups and patient counseling to prevent illness, disease, or other health problems.


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


Includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy.


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).


Financial assistance from the government that helps those who are eligible pay for health insurance. Eligibility is generally determined by household income and family size.