By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island plans to submit for new health insurance products to be offered on the R.I. Health Benefits Exchange to R.I Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher F. Koller on or about April 1, according to Monica Neronha, vice president of legal services at Blue Cross.
“We expect to offer a variety of products for individuals and small groups on the exchange,” Neronha said. “We know that price, simplicity and service are important attributes for buyers on and off the exchange. Given this, we expect to offer a portfolio of quality products including offerings that are familiar to consumers and employers as well as some new options like our network products.
Neronha said that while Blue Cross was pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Christine Ferguson, the exchange’s director, regarding the establishment of the exchange, there have been no detailed conversations about products with Blue Cross.
“To date, we have not had detailed conversations with the exchange regarding products and pricing,” Neronha said. “We are still evaluating proposed federal regulations and how they will impact benefits and rates.”
Further, in terms of the exchange’s need to become a self-sustaining operation, Neronha said that Blue Cross has “not had discussion with the exchange related to on-going funding of the exchange.”