Kim Keck, President & CEO of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Releases Statement Regarding Senate’s Passage of Tax Reform Bill that Repeals Individual Mandate


PROVIDENCE, RI -- Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is disappointed in the U.S. Senate’s passage of a tax reform bill that repeals the individual mandate, a key tenet of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). BCBSRI has advocated for an individual mandate as a critical component of an effective healthcare system, as broad enrollment contributes to a balanced risk pool creating more affordable premiums. Without that balance, health insurance premiums are likely to increase, thereby reducing accessibility to care. Combined with the recent elimination of cost sharing reductions, the repeal of the individual mandate creates further financial stresses in the healthcare system.

If the repeal of the individual mandate is upheld in the final version of the tax reform bill, we pledge to work with the state to enact a law that preserves the individual mandate in Rhode Island. Our state adopted many ACA protections even before the ACA became law, such as:
• Making health insurance available to everyone, regardless of any pre-existing medical condition
• Allowing young people to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26
• Charging no out-of-pocket costs for some preventive services and screenings
• Supporting no lifetime dollar limits on benefits

Meanwhile, BCBSRI will continue to stand by our absolute commitment to provide access to high-quality affordable healthcare for all Rhode Islanders. It’s a commitment that defines us as a local company dedicated to the communities we serve.

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