Nov. 27, 2013. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced today that the North Carolina Department of Insurance has approved rates that allow Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina to offer policyholders a chance to re-enroll for another year in individual health plans that were facing cancellation.
After an expedited rate review, NCDOI approved the rate changes as filed by BCBSNC on Nov. 19. Effective, Jan. 1, 2014, there will be rate increases of 16.4 percent for Blue Advantage plans, an average 22 percent for Blue Value plans and 23.6 percent of Blue Saver and Blue Options HSA plans.
The filing was a result of a federal transitional policy that allows insurers to offer policyholders whose health insurance coverage would otherwise be terminated the opportunity to keep their current plan for another year.
NCDOI is placing priority on this type of filing in order to help provide more health insurance options to North Carolinians in 2014. Goodwin ordered an expedited review process due to concerns that people may experience a gap in coverage if their current plan is terminated and they are not able to purchase coverage through the troubled federal health exchange in a timely manner. In the expedited review process, NCDOI focuses on identifying potential errors in the filing and analyzes medical trent and claims experience.
Goodwin recommends that North Carolinians take the time to shop around and compare the costs and benefits of all health insurance plans available. People can compare coverage and find out if they are eligible for federal subsidies on the federal exchange website www.healthcare.gov. Those who are not eligible for subsidy can purchase coverage through the federal exchange or from insurance companies offering coverage outside of the exchange.