BCBSNC was in the news recently because our ACA plans did not offer family coverage for married same-sex couples or domestic partners. We received some criticism for that decision. We deserved it.
We’re committed to serving all North Carolinians, and our decision to delay family coverage for these customers was inconsistent with that commitment. Today, we are announcing that we have done the necessary work to make family coverage available in our ACA plans this year to legally married same-sex couples and anyone in a domestic partnership (whether same-sex or opposite sex).
Here’s what our President and CEO Brad Wilson said about the issue in a statement issued to the media today.
In order to ensure that our technology was ready for the Affordable Care Act, our company chose to postpone a number of product updates until 2015. One of these was to begin making family coverage available to same-sex married couples and domestic partners (same-sex or opposite-sex) in our ACA-approved plans.
We should have more thoughtfully considered this decision, with full appreciation of the impact it would have on same-sex married couples and domestic partners. We’re sorry we failed to do so.
Our employees have worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department of Insurance over the past week to update our plans in order to make family coverage available sooner. Those whose policies have been cancelled can reenroll in family coverage, and we’ll work with these families to make this process as easy and seamless as possible.
We appreciate our customers’ willingness to bear with us as we work to make these changes quickly.
- Starting Monday, same-sex married couples and anyone in a domestic partnership may purchase new family coverage on or off the Exchange for an effective date of March 1.
- Domestic partners and same-sex married couples who enrolled separately on ACA plans can convert them into family plans retroactive to their original effective date.
- Small groups will have the option to offer coverage for same-sex married couples and domestic partners beginning with new and renewed plans effective April 1, 2014.
- This change affects all of BCBSNC’s ACA plans, whether purchased on or off the exchange.
Existing customers should call the number on the back of their insurance card.
Anyone who wants to purchase coverage should call our Sales Center at 1-800-324-4973 for assistance.