Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (Blue Cross) disagrees with the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner’s (OHIC) rate decision. Despite our disagreement, Blue Cross felt that the best course was to accept it at this time and submit a new group rate factor filing in the near future. The OHIC’s decision dramatically changes longstanding insurance industry practices for determining premium rates. This, along with the OHIC’s refusal to permit the inclusion of new estimated federal taxes, will result in material financial losses for Blue Cross. These losses could significantly impact our future ability to work with the provider community.
“While the Commissioner has made a significant contribution to delivery system change in Rhode Island through efforts to advance primary care and the hospital contracting conditions, payment reform evolution is the path to delivery system transformation not artificial rate controls that do not fully consider insurer solvency and fairness to providers,” said Peter Andruszkiewicz, Blue Cross president and CEO.
Blue Cross is firmly committed to efforts to help moderate health insurance premiums for our customers and has worked collaboratively with OHIC on this effort. We have laid a solid foundation for change and will continue to champion efforts in a way that addresses both the urgent need to limit costs and the importance of assuring access and high quality care for Rhode Islanders. Blue Cross remains fully supportive of the Small Employer Health Insurance Taskforce principles and believes we can work collaboratively with physicians, hospitals, regulators and health insurance providers in new and innovative ways to realize system-wide change that transforms our healthcare structure into an affordable model of coordinated care.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit BCBSRI.com and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.