Blue Cross providing prepaid debit cards to customers as part of federal settlement
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina said Friday that it will issue $200 million in debit cards to help customers pay for expenses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
>> A LOT OF SMOKE THERE, THANK YOU SO MUCH. >>> TODAY THE STATES LARGEST INSURANCE PROVIDER ANNOUNCED PLANS TO PROVIDE CUSTOMERS AFTER $500 TO HELP WITH LOSS EXPENSES DURING THE PANDEMIC. JOINING US NOW TO TALK ABOUT THIS MOVE IS LAURA EBERHARDT WITH BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD NORTH CAROLINA. THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. >> THANKS FOR HAVING ME, DEBORAH . >> LET'S START WITH, WHY DID BLUE CROSS TAKE THIS STEP FOR CUSTOMERS? >> THIS YEAR HAS BEEN REALLY TOUGH FOR NORTH CAROLINIANS AND MANY OF OUR MEMBERS DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. WHETHER THAT BE FROM ILLNESS , ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN, JOB LOSS. IT IS OUR MISSION TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF OUR CUSTOMERS AND COMMUNITIES AND WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, WE WON MILLIONS FROM A LAWSUIT AND WANT TO PASS THAT ON DIRECTLY TO OUR MEMBERS TO HELP THEM CONTINUE THEIR WELLNESS JOURNEY THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT TIME. >> A LOT OF FOLKS WANT TO KNOW WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THIS MONEY. >> SO IF YOU ARE AN INDIVIDUAL UNDER 65 MEMBER, IF YOU ARE ENROLLED IN THAT, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE. AND ALSO FULLY INSURED EMPLOYER PLAN MEMBERS ARE ELIGIBLE TO THIS. THIS EQUATES TO ABOUT 600,000 SUBSCRIBERS THROUGHOUT NORTH CAROLINA. >> IT IS ABOUT $200 MILLION IN AWE. WHAT IS THE DISTRIBUTION PROCESS LOOK LIKE? >> ELIGIBLE MEMBERS WILL RECEIVE THESE GIFT CARDS IN THE MAIL. THAT PROCESS WILL START OCTOBER 19th AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH NOVEMBER 7th. IT'S COMING UP RELATIVELY QUICKLY AND WE'RE REALLY HAPPY TO BE ABLE TO GET THIS MONEY IN THE HANDS OF OUR MEMBERS SO QUICKLY. >> WE ALSO HAVE THIS INFORMATION ON WRAL.COM .