Blue Cross NC announces prices for ACA plans
Posted September 5, 2013
Updated September 6, 2013
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina's largest health insurer is telling consumers how much it will charge individuals under terms of the Affordable Care Act.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield North Carolina announced Thursday that it will offer 26 plans on the health insurance exchange. Monthly premiums will range from as little as $145 for a 25-year-old subscriber to one of two catastrophic plans, up to as much as $594 for one of six plans for a 60-year-old.
A news release from the provider said catastrophic plans will have higher deductibles and will be available for consumers under age 30 and those who get what is described as "hardship exemptions."
Blue Cross has opened at least a half-dozen offices across the state to educate people about the ACA. It will begin enrollment in October.
"The ACA will make coverage available to many who have never had it and will enhance benefits for most consumers. These are good things, but they come at a cost," said Patrick Getzen, BNBSNC vice president and chief actuary.
"After the impact of subsidies, we expect about two-thirds of our individual customers will see the amount they pay for coverage increase similar to previous years - or they may pay less," Getzen said. "The remaining one-third of our customers will see fairly substantial increases due to the requirements of the ACA."
Adam Searing, health director at the North Carolina Justice Center, praised the plans and said the costs are lower than he anticipated.
"For years, I've been described as an antagonist to Blue Cross, but that's changing," Searing said. "There is no more pre-existing condition exclusion. You can have a whole history of cancer and you are going to pay the same price as somebody who is perfectly healthy."