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Blue Cross sends errant notices of rate increases

Posted October 30, 2014
Updated October 31, 2014

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— The state's largest insurer said Thursday that thousands of policyholders were sent incorrect notices this week outlining huge increases in their health insurance rates.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina said in its Behind BCBSNC blog that 42,000 customers received letters with incorrect premium amounts. New rate letters will be sent to those people next week.

"We’re human and sometimes we make mistakes. We regret that it happened and we’re working to fix it," officials said in the blog.

Officials said the incorrect notices involved Blue Advantage plans with $15 co-pays that are grandfathered and don't need to meet coverage required under the Affordable Care Act.

Mark Johnson was told his premiums would go up by more than $300. He said he was relieved to find out it likely will be less.

"It's frustrating to say the least. Cost keeps going up. They say there is no inflation, but that is not the world I'm living in," Johnson said. "Who can afford even an extra $200? Where is that money coming from?"

Plans issued under the new law will see an average rate increase of 13.5 percent, Blue Cross officials have said, while rates on "transitional plans" that people were allowed to keep during the first year of enrollment under the law will go up by an average of 19.2 percent.

51 Comments

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  • jimhodge222 Oct 31, 2014

    My wife got her notice yesterday and broke into tears and collapsed on the floor thinking we were "priced out" at 57. Although her rate was not correct and will be adjusted it's still going to be high. Why does health insurance not jibe with the rate of inflation? Here's some clues. The "wealth" is trickling up to trial lawyers Mr. Liberal Extremist. No tort reform equals huge paydays for these charlatans and guess who pays? We do! My doctor has to pay over 300,000 dollars for insurance every year. There is an astonishing number of attorneys in this country right now and they produce nothing but misery for the most part. Another problem is that Americans have no bargaining power with the pharmaceutical companies due to lack of action by our government. Every other country in the world has this power but not the U.S.. Big contributions to elections are being paid by us, the consumer, for people who will skin us alive for our hard earned dollar. Wake up people.

  • Liberal_Extremist Oct 31, 2014

    Regarding my mention of "marketing ploys," the Republican propagandists are using a similar technique to attack Obama, by accusing him of the very thing he wasn't doing. Such as making a "sharp left turn" and trying to make America's healthcare system follow a more "socialist model like Europe." This is exactly what he should have tried to do, if he had been wise. Instead he followed the Reagan privatization model that is strangling the economy with a game of economical musical chairs. The chairs keep getting smaller and fewer each year, as wealth trickles up and poverty trickles down. Check out the book, "Bad Samaritans" to get a better idea of what I am saying. Or another book, "The Corporation," also available in DVD format. Educate yourselves while you can still afford it! Don't be uneducated suckers to anti-Liberal propaganda. There are two kinds of freedom, freedom from slavery, and freedom to enslave. America's Civil War is not over yet, but heating up...

  • Liberal_Extremist Oct 31, 2014

    I don't think it was a mistake either, but a marketing ploy that was also timed to influence the election. Rates keep going up, so an increase was no surprise. Since BCBS wants to get as big an increase as possible, under the guise that Obamacare is forcing them to do it, the clever way to do this is to make an astronomical increase first, then leak a news story that it was a clerical mistake, so the slightly less astronomical increase will feel like a great discount, and mute the complaints. My rate increased 42% which was extreme upsetting. The news clip here said it should only increase 19%, as if I'm supposed to feel good about that, since 19% is less extreme than 42%. Obamacare was a really stupid and lame idea, but the Republican alternatives were lacking. The ONLY way we can ever get a grip on run-away healthcare costs is to do the very thing the propagandists fear, nationalize the healthcare industry! Privatization is the root cause of our dilemma, not Obumercare.

  • Travis Upchurch Oct 31, 2014
    user avatar

    "We’re human and sometimes we make mistakes. We regret that it happened and we’re working to fix it,"
    Really, we are all human, but, i or anyone i know has never sent a letter to 42,000 people all saying real close to the same thing, your health care is going up!!! gotta be some truth in there some where!!! you can call this a wake up call a coming!!

  • Amy Whaley Oct 31, 2014
    user avatar

    My son has told me that his company is dropping their health insurance at the end of the year.

  • iopsyc Oct 31, 2014

    View quoted thread



    I'm curious why you think BCBS is on the verge of going under. BCBSNC net revenue in 2013 was $93M, up from $58M in 2012.

  • babylaceycarpenter Oct 30, 2014

    It is not errant. It is only a test, to see the reaction of the American people. BCBS is at the verge of going under. If they cannot find a way to improve their numbers, the #1 provider of health insurance in America, will no longer exist. If this happens, healthcare in this country, will cease to exist, as we now know it.

  • 64cyork Oct 30, 2014

    This was likely an intentional political move. BCBS had to offer a lot of existing customers lower rates with the introduction of Obamacare (we saved $700 a month). With only a few days left to vote, customers freaked out by apparent huge rate hikes may flock to the poles to vote against Kay Hagan. I don't believe this was a 'mistake'.

  • 64cyork Oct 30, 2014

    This was likely an intentional political move. BCBS had to offer a lot of existing customers lower rates with the introduction of Obamacare (we saved $700 a month). With only a few days left to vote, customers freaked out by apparent huge rate hikes may flock to the poles to vote against Kay Hagan. I don't believe this was a 'mistake'.

  • busyb97 Oct 30, 2014

    The only error was that they sent them a week early. We'll see the true story after the elections are done and we can't react at the polls.

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