NC’s Blue Cross seeks 23 percent hike on individual policies

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s largest health insurer says it wants to increase the average price for subsidized policies created by former President Barack Obama’s overhaul law by 23 percent next year.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said Thursday that two-thirds of its rate increase is because Congress is not funding promised subsidies that provide consumers with extra financial help for out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copayments.

Blue Cross’s Brian Tajlili (tadz-LI-li) said if the Republican-led Congress fully funded the so-called “cost sharing reductions,” its rate increase would be the lowest in the five years of the Affordable Care Act at less than 9 percent. He says insurance prices are stabilizing.

Blue Cross is the only insurer offering those policies in 95 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

___

This story has been corrected to show the increase is 23 percent, instead of more than 22 percent.