Ken Eudy and NC Blue Cross have a long-term relationship. Millions of dollars that should have gone to lower health premiums or pay for medical services has gone straight from the pockets of Blue Cross policyholders into Capstrat’s profits. Sometimes that relationship has meant Eudy has done things on behalf of Blue he probably wished he hadn’t.
Back in 2003 when Blue first announced record profits of $190 million, over a thousand people wrote outraged letters, emails, or made phone calls to Insurance Commissioner Jim Long worried about the effect of the focus on profits on their premiums and whether they would be able to afford health coverage. Commissioner Long responded by considering asking for legislation from the General Assembly that would allow him to more closely review such huge profits and order refunds for policyholders.
Nonprofit Blue became extremely worried at the prospect of stringent review of their outsize profits. Eudy, acting for Blue Cross, made a transparent attempt to intimidate ordinary citizens around North Carolina from expressing their concerns to the Insurance Commissioner. To do this, Eudy demanded, and received, copies of all those letters and comments complete with names and addresses. Remember, these are ordinary Blue Cross policyholders who legitimately might worry that Blue would be unhappy with what they said and this unhappiness would be reflected in their health premiums or coverage.
It’s impossible to measure the chilling effect Eudy’s request had on further complaints to the Commissioner or the chances of legislation on the topic in the General Assembly. Suffice it to say no such bill was ever considered that year.