Health Insurance Consortium

NSBA Health Insurance Consortium

On December 10, 2018 at 2:00 pm, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska contacted the NSBA and informed us that because the demographic profile of our group had changed substantially since the initial rates were released that they (Blue Cross Blue Shield) would need to increase everyone’s rates by 11.8%. Our response was that if they raised the rates by 11.8% at this date (after firms were already told the rates would hold), that firms would drop out and we wouldn’t have the requisite number of employees to move forward. They agreed with that comment and then stated that it would be “more professional” for them to just decline our group coverage. In an effort to salvage the Consortium, we asked them to consider a number of alternatives. They told us that there is nothing they can do and that they are declining coverage for our group.

To say that we are deeply disappointed in Blue Cross Blue Shield’s decision and the timing of their decision would be an understatement. Some of us have already cancelled our existing policies. Some of us have made other business decisions based on the savings we were expecting on our 2019 premiums.

If you have already cancelled your existing policy and need assistance finding an alternative Aon can assist you. Please call Jody Gilcrist at 402-697-5256 or Jerome Rewolinski at 402-697-5240, or your prior broker for assistance.  If you were on the individual market place, the deadline for enrollment is December 15, 2018 and we want to give you as much time as possible to obtain other coverage.

On December 10, 2018 we called United Health Care to inquire whether they would be interested in offering a plan to the Health Insurance Consortium.  Our pool is: 1) well over the required number of employees/lives to be stable; 2) our pool is healthy (more than 50% of the firms in our pool were rated in Tier A, which is a good sign for renewals; and 3) our pool has good growth potential (we had more than 30 new law firms lined up to enroll on February 1, 2019). United Health Care sees the long-term benefit in partnering with the NSBA Health Insurance Consortium and is excited about the opportunity to serve our members. Unfortunately, given the timing of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s decision, they are not able to offer our group coverage on January 1, 2019.   If we are able to explore a February 1, 2019 option through United Health Care, we will be in touch with the details as soon as possible.

The timing of Blue Cross Blue Shield’s decision certainly inhibited the Consortium’s ability to seek alternative coverage and will inhibit the participating law firms’ ability to seek alternative coverage. Again, will be in touch with more details as the Health Insurance Consortium Board considers its options.

Sam Clinch and I will follow up with each firm that was signed up for coverage with a phone call to make sure that your questions are answered. To reach us directly, Sam’s direct line is 402-742-8125 and my direct line is 402-742-8129.