Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) is seeking a proposed 4.1% average rate decrease for 2019 Affordable Care Act individual plans.
BCBSNC announced this rate reduction request Tuesday morning, explaining the ACA market continues to show signs of stability. The company also said rates could have been 15% lower with more certainty from Washington.
This marks the first time the state’s largest insurer has requested a rate decrease on the individual plans it offers since the ACA went into effect in 2014. It is also the first time BCBSNC has requested a rate reduction for any individual plan in more than 25 years.
At this point in time, the rate decrease is only a proposal; one that must be approved by the North Carolina Department of Insurance in order for it to go into effect.
In addition, BCBSNC expects to remain the only insurer in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties, but the nation’s largest provider of individual health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, Missouri-based Centene Corp., just announced it is expanding its coverage to North Carolina.
Centene Corp. will offer plans in Durham and Wake counties under the name Ambetter. With Cigna active in Wake, Johnston, Orange, Chatham and Nash counties, Wake County will be the only county in the state with three insurers offering plans through the Marketplace.
Despite ongoing efforts to undermine the ACA, it appears North Carolinians will have more choices during the upcoming open enrollment period with the market showing signs of stabilizing.
Although uncertainties remain, one thing is for certain: Open Enrollment Period 6 is scheduled for November 1, 2018 – December 15, 2018. That means North Carolinians will have access to health coverage for 2019 and will have the opportunity to shop for new plans.
We look forward to working with you in OE6 to help consumers get covered!
NC Get Covered staff