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BlueCross BlueShield drops local Medicaid program

Thousands of people across the region will soon have to find a new Medicaid provider. BlueCross Blue Shield of Western New York is getting out of the business.

A year after exiting Niagara and Genesee Counties  BlueCross BlueShield is pulling the plug on its Medicaid programs in the remaining six counties of Western New York.

Julie Snyder, Director of Corporate Relations, says over the past three years BlueCross BlueShield has lost about $40 million administering Medicaid for the state.

"We have certainly advocated for a reimbursement rate that more closely aligns with the level of claims that we're paying for this line of business, for these members," Snyder said.

"New York State certainly is cooperative. But they are unable to provide more dollars."

Snyder says the change, effective October 31, will impact about 53,000 people.

"No one is losing coverage. It's simply that these members are going to obviously continue to receive benefits through Medicaid. It will just be through another health plan."  

Medicare and other plans are not included.

Snyder says letters will be mailed to members affected by the change in about four weeks. In the meantime she says people who get Medicaid through BlueCross BlueShield can contact the company for more information.