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Blue Cross customers can start shopping Nov. 1

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico customers who have individual insurance plans that will expire at the end of 2015 will be able to shop for a new insurance plan through the health exchange beginning Nov. 1, the start of the open enrollment period, said Amy Dowd CEO of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange.

However, if they choose to shop through the health exchange — — they will have to select a new plan by mid-December to ensure they coverage on Jan. 1, Dowd said.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico announced Wednesday it would not offer individual plans  in 2016. Blue Cross Blue Shield President Kurt Shipley said the company made the decision because it lost $19.2 million in 2014 on the 35,000 customers who had individual plans purchased on or outside of the health exchange, and the company could not reach agreement with the state insurance superintendent on its requested rate increase of 52 percent.