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Regence BlueCross BlueShield Drops Out of Utah Exchange

One of Utah’s largest health insurance companies, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, will no longer be selling its plans on Avenue H, the state’s exchange for small businesses.

Utah is unique in the nation with its dual-model health insurance exchange. In an agreement approved in May by the US Department of Health and Human Services, the state will continue to offer Avenue H for small businesses, leaving individual shoppers to the federal exchange. In advance of the exchange opening on October 1st, Regence BlueCross BlueShield announced it will no longer offer its plans on Avenue H, but it will sell insurance on the separate, federally run marketplace for individual Utahns.

Regence officials are not giving a reason for the move at this time, but released a statement saying, “In this new era of health care, our parent company has established a separate health insurance company that will offer health plans on the individual exchange.”

It’s not clear how this will impact Avenue H users. Regence was the only insurer contracted with hospitals outside the Intermountain Healthcare Network. But there is a new insurer coming on board - a health care cooperative known as Arches, which will be joining Avenue H by October.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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