|By Carly Harrington, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
The state's largest insurer,
"Candidly, it was part of a strategy we started when health reform came about. Our plan all along was to get all the membership we could," said Smith, who noted the carrier's final enrollment numbers were slightly higher than expected.
Most of BlueCross' Marketplace policies were sold in the
BlueCross plans were reported to be among the lowest priced in the country. The final numbers "very clearly" told BlueCross that people want affordable insurance options so they can buy it, Smith said.
The carrier didn't capture as many younger members as it had hoped. About a quarter of enrollees are 18-24 while 29 percent are older than 55. Smith said the carrier will consider "how do we target more of that younger group going forward."
Smith also acknowledged there had been some operational challenges.
"We learned it's really hard to manage call volumes of 5,000 to 10,000 a day," he said. "I know there was some frustration up front, wait times that we would never want."
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