by Sam Hieb
News & Observer reports:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield is projecting a loss of more than $400 million on its Affordable Care Act business in North Carolina, prompting the insurer to eliminate sales commissions for agents and impose other emergency measures to stem financial losses it attributes to the federal health care law.
BCBS is cutting salesman commissions during the “special enrollment” period during which people can sign up for insurance if they are undergoing changing circumstances such as getting married, adding children to the household, moving to another state, losing a job etc.
Watson told agents that people who buy insurance during the special enrollment period end up costing twice as much in medical claims as other ACA customers. Some of those special enrollment customers stay insured just several months, enough time to rack up medical expenses for Blue Cross to pay, before discontinuing coverage, Watson said, according to those on the webinar.