Last Friday, Barbara Morales Burke, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s VP of health policy, presented a first glimpse of the carrier’s individual market enrollment mix.
“Blue Cross (Affordable Care Act) customers are older, have more chronic conditions than we anticipated than when we set rates for 2014 last year,” she said. “So when we set rates this year for 2015 ACA plans, those rates will need to be higher to reflect anticipated healthcare needs and usage of new ACA customers.”
Rates will also increase due to the Obama Administration’s request that insurers allow individual policyholders to keep old plans if they liked them for another year. BCBS NC has gone forth with allowing their policyholders to keep their “grandmother” plans – and a majority have taken the offer (most of whom are young and “invincible”).
**Another thing to consider that some people may have forgotten when trying to keep up with the federal health law’s extensive menu of changes: the administration has knocked on insurance companies’ doors yet again to request that such transition policies be extended for up to TWO years. BCBS NC has yet to announce whether they will grant these policyholders a two-year extension. If the company does, the individual market will face more destabilization.