by Joseph Coletti
Senior Fellow, Fiscal Studies, John Locke Foundation
They were good while they lasted. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced last week that it would end all of its grandfathered health insurance plans December 31. All of the 50,000 people who still have one of these plans will need to enroll in an ObamaCare plan for January 1, 2018. Once ObamaCare was enacted, the plans could not accept new enrollees, and the number of people covered by those plans has fallen from 330,000 to 50,000, with those left on the plans “older and sicker” according to the insurance company. BCBSNC explained that ObamaCare coverage is generally more expensive than the grandfathered plans
Many customers transitioning off grandfathered plans will pay more for coverage in 2018. Many will pay quite a bit more. However, we believe that a portion of our affected customers will qualify for subsidies to offset the cost increase. Comparing current year premiums for grandfathered plans to premiums for an ACA plan next year, young men and women over 50 will generally pay more for ACA coverage, while older men and young women will pay less. [emphasis added]
ObamaCare forbids different rates based on sex or gender, so young women and older men, who are more expensive to insure, get discounts paid by younger men and women over 50.
My family dropped our grandfathered HSA-eligible plan at the end of 2013 and we have been members of a health care sharing ministry (one of the few exemptions from the insurance mandate) since 2014 instead of dealing with rapidly rising insurance premiums.