Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced today that the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI) has approved its 7.2% average rate increase for individual customers who enroll in Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans in 2023.
This average rate increase, which is below the nationwide inflation rate, reflects Blue Cross NC’s commitment to creating a health care system that is affordable for all.
“While inflation and rising medical costs require us to increase rates for 2023, our rates for an ACA plan offered in 2023 are, on average, lower than they were in 2018,” said Dr. Tunde Sotunde, CEO and president of Blue Cross NC. “Our work over the last five years continues to demonstrate that deeper collaboration with health professionals helps to make health care more affordable for all North Carolinians.”
Despite the rising costs of health care in the U.S., Blue Cross NC is finding new ways to help hold down rate increases and make plans more affordable. These include:
- Blue Cross NC’s industry-leading Blue Premier initiative, which reduces costs by paying health care providers for meeting quality and cost standards. So far, 12 health systems in North Carolina have signed onto Blue Premier, with 1.4 million members under the care of Blue Premier providers.
- Negotiating lower costs with drug manufacturers and making sure Blue Cross NC plans cover the most effective drugs at the lowest cost. Recent efforts are having a big impact: After seeing a 13% increase in pharmacy costs for its individual under-65 market in 2021, the overall pharmacy trend for this customer segment in 2022 is currently flat (0.0%).
- In the Triad, Triangle and Charlotte regions, Blue Cross NC will continue to offer Blue Local℠ and Blue Home℠ plans. These plans’ average monthly rates are $100 to $220 lower than a similar broad network PPO plan.
- Lowering deductible amounts – by up to $2,300 – on most of the plans offered in the individual ACA market in 2023.
“In order to keep North Carolinians healthy, we must connect our customers to affordable health care,” said Dr. Sotunde. “As we continue to address the underlying causes of high costs, more of our members will be able to access high-quality care, no matter where they live.”
Individual premiums will be available in October. Open enrollment for individual under-65 ACA plans begins on November 1, 2022, and ends on January 15, 2023.
For more details on this update read the full press release in our Media Center.
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