NC’s Blue Cross cutting rate request on individual policies

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s largest health insurance company is pulling back on its requested price increase for coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said Wednesday it doesn’t need a 23 percent price hike next year, a request that’s often been used as evidence of rising prices and fewer choices under former President Barack Obama’s overhaul law. Blue Cross said in May it would need just about 9 percent more except for funding uncertainty by Congress.

Blue Cross says it has informed state regulators it now needs to increase premiums an average of about 14 percent next year for individual ACA policies. It offers the policies statewide.

Cigna sells ACA policies in five counties near Raleigh. It’s requesting an average 32 percent increase in 2018.