53,000 New Yorkers to Be Dropped From Health Care Plans

Dan Joseph
By Dan Joseph | July 18, 2014 | 12:32 PM EDT

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York announced on Friday afternoon that they will be withdrawing from the state’s  Medicaid managed care program.  This means that nearly 53,000 enrollees in that particular program will be forced to look for new insurance coverage come fall of this year. 

The move comes after Blue Cross Blue Shield announced that it had lost nearly $40 million over the last few years on its managed care programs.

While Blue Cross Blue Shield did not say whether Obamacare played a role in its decision to drop  Medicaid coverage, some believe that the state’s planned addition of 300,000 New Yorkers to the Medicaid rolls under the ACA could be one reason for the dropped plans.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield now has a lot more clients on Medicaid because of Obamacare, so they would lose a lot more money,” said  State.  Rep. Chris Collins, (R-Clarence) “I don’t see how they could say that this doesn't have a connection to Obamacare.”

Because those who are dropped from the program remain eligible for Medicaid, Blue Cross Blue Shield’s decision means that other insurers will have to take on their former clients.  With some of these insurers also facing losses in their own managed care programs, this could cause even patients to lose their coverage in the future.

Independent Health, the largest insurer in the region has admitted that they have recently faced “similar losses in its Medicaid program."