Blue Cross sends errant notices of rate increases

Posted October 30, 2014 4:26 p.m. EDT
Updated October 31, 2014 3:26 p.m. EDT

— 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.