ANTHEM

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has its Virginia headquarters off Staples Mill Road in Henrico County.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will offer health insurance plans on the Affordable Care Act’s individual marketplace in the Richmond region in 2020, joining Oscar Insurance Co. as a new choice for consumers in the area.

Virginia’s largest health insurance company said increased stability in the state’s market led the insurer to return to 20 more localities in Virginia, including Richmond and its neighboring counties for the insurance plans commonly called Obamacare.

In 2017, Anthem announced it would withdraw entirely from the marketplace before switching course and offering insurance plans in 68 localities with large rate hikes. The insurer added an additional 42 localities last year in a move that increased competition in the market after large price spikes. In 2020, its plans will be offered in 130 localities.

“After a thoughtful review of the stability in the marketplace in Virginia, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is pleased to announce it will expand its individual health plan offerings for 2020 to additional cities and counties, including parts of Northern Virginia and greater Richmond regions,” Anthem spokesman Scott Golden said in a statement.

Three other providers — Cigna, Oscar Insurance and Virginia Premier — already plan to cover the Richmond region in 2020. Their plans on average cost between $625 and $645 a month, according to filings with the Virginia Bureau of Insurance. Anthem’s plans around the state will cost about $782 a month.

All the plans are expected to be between 7% and 15% higher than last year except for Kaiser, which expects its rate to drop 4% or 5%.

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