The NC Health Insurance landscape has changed dramatically since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010 and implemented in 2014. Otherwise known as Obamacare, the ACA was the single biggest change in health insurance history since Medicare took effect in 1965. Over the last six years, North Carolinians have seen significant changes in how they purchase health insurance, what is available to them as consumers, how health insurance effects their taxes, and how much it will cost to insure themselves and their families. In fact, in 2015 health insurance in North Carolina saw some of the biggest rate increases in history with the average cost of plans increasing over 25%.
As Open Enrollment 2017 approaches, North Carolina, as well as many other states across the nation, are experiencing a new upheaval as some of the largest insurance companies in the U.S are pulling out of the ACA Market altogether. In April 2016, United Healthcare announced that it would pull out of most of the nation’s exchanges, including North Carolina, which was a big hit to the residents of the state, leaving only two companies offering individual health insurance plans. A statement by UnitedHealth Group cited a “smaller overall market size and shorter-term, higher-risk profile within this market” as the reason the company chose to exit.
But that was just the beginning.
In August, Aetna followed suit and decided to withdraw, leaving some Americans with only one or no health insurance options. For North Carolina, Aetna’s decision to pull out of the federal Exchange means that BCBSNC is now the only company considering offering plans in all 100 counties across the state, but even that is no guarantee. When United Healthcare pulled out in April, BCBSNC spokesman Lew Borman said “We have not made any decisions about participating in the ACA in 2017. We are evaluating the sustainability and affordability of any plans we offer our customers.”
While Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina remains committed to its customers and to providing a quality and sustainable health insurance product, it is clear that North Carolina residents are feeling the affects of the ACA, both good and bad. With Open Enrollment 2017 just around the corner, many North Carolina residents are wondering what this year will bring. At NC Health Plans, we are committed to helping our customers understand the changes in NC health insurance and how it might affect the benefits or availability of your health plan.
For more information on North Carolina insurance coverage, please visit our website at www.nchealthplans.com or call our toll free number 888-765-5400 and speak with one of our experienced and professional agents.