Published June 22, 2012
BlueCross BlueShield said it would continue to offer coverage of dependents up to age 26, no lifetime limits on plans, preventive health care services with no co-pays, and retain the third-party appeals process for coverage denial that were required by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“Regardless of what happens at the national level, our focus remains unchanged — providing access to high quality health care at a competitive price,” said Patti Embry-Tautenhan, spokeswoman for BlueCross BlueShield of S.C., which has a 45% share of the South Carolina health insurance market.
“Should the Supreme Court strike down national health care reform, for those customers who want these coverage options, we will continue to make available dependent coverage up to age 26, no lifetime limits on coverage and preventive health care services with no co-pays,” Embry-Tautenhan said. “We will also maintain those provisions that were in place prior to health care reform such as no rescissions, except for fraud and a robust appeals process.”
Minnesota-based United Healthcare is extending the protections because they are “good for people's health, promote broader access to quality care and contribute to helping control rising health care costs,” said Stephen J. Hemsley, president and CEO of United Healthcare Group. "These provisions are compatible with our mission and continue our operating practices."
United Healthcare is the second-largest health carrier in South Carolina with about 10% of the market.
Louisville, Ky.-based Humana, one of the top five health insurance carriers in South Carolina as far as the number of people covered by its policies, said it “believes its health plan members should have the peace of mind of knowing the company embraces and will maintain these common-sense provisions that add stability and security to health care coverage.”
Most of Humana’s customers in South Carolina are covered under Medicare Advantage, an alternative to the traditional supplemental policies to the basic Medicare program.
The Supreme Court could decide to uphold all of the law, keep certain parts of it, or scuttle the entire measure.
A ruling is expected next week.