Blue Cross covering CSR health care subsidies for members

PROVIDENCE — Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island on Friday announced it will cover the cost of Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies for its members through the end of 2017.

The announcement followed President Donald Trump’s executive order yesterday canceling the payments, upon which many Rhode Islanders depend to help pay for health care services.

Up until now Blue Cross, like other health insurers, has reimbursed providers for the out-of-pocket expenses covered by the CSR subsidies, and then received monthly payments from the federal government. The subsidies directly helped these Rhode Islanders gain access to much-needed care, and to reduce provider bad debt, the insurer said in a statement.

“Although CSR funding has been eliminated, [Blue Cross] will cover the cost of the subsidies through the end of 2017. Our members will see no change in their 2017 premiums or benefits,” the insurer stated.

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Blue Cross is working with the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner to implement a contingency plan for 2018 to address the federal change.

“Whatever decisions are made by Congress and the administration, we remain committed to providing access to high-quality, affordable health care for all Rhode Islanders so they get the right care when they need it,” Blue Cross stated.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at