NC Blue Cross Affordable Care Act premiums announced today in line with other states: “lower than expected”

bluecrossblueshield.jpgToday NC Blue Cross announced the range of premiums for different plans that it will be offering in NC’s new federal health care marketplace.  These are premiums for comprehensive health plans with no lifetime or annual limits, no extra charges for pre-exisiting health conditions or being a woman, and with comprehensive coverage of everything from prescription drugs to having a baby. In short, real quality health coverage.

The NC Blue Cross “sticker price” premiums are in line with the “lower than expected” premiums announced in other states for their health marketplaces when I compare them to the premiums listed in a Kaiser Family Foundation study looking at 18 other states that came out today.

Remember that the “sticker price” premiums NC Blue Cross announced today and in other states are reduced significantly by federal tax credits available in the health marketplace to many middle and lower income people.  For example, a family of four making less than $88,000 a year will qualify for some tax credit.  As NC Blue Cross notes in its press release, for some of the very lowest income people, premiums can be as low as $19 a month. Or, for example, a single person making $25,000 a year can buy a health plan for $97 a month or less.

Two quick points:  First, Even though premiums are OK in NC, I will note that in states that have set up their own health care marketplaces there are significantly more health plans participating and more competition.  For example, Maryland has at least six plans to our two.  Second, if NC were to expand Medicaid, it is clear that we all would have lower premiums since we would be covering the care of people we now all pay for in tacked on charges to our premiums because of the uncompensated care someone who is uninsured receives.

 

 

10 Comments

  1. LayintheSmakDown

    September 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I am glad you put “lower than expected” in quotes because that is quite the misnomer. This is some expensive stuff that will still be beyond the regular person to pay for himself. I guess that is the purpose though right? The full government takeover of your healthcare is what they are shooting for anyway…

  2. Ascend (of Asheville)

    September 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    It mystifies me that the NC Republicans are still willing to go on the books as intentionally making the health care coverage cost more for North Carolinians than necessary.

    The numbers are in, and the cost savings can no longer be disputed.

    Yes, it involves the forced purchase of a for-profit product, which may turn out to be just as bad as the forced purchase of auto insurance. But in the interim it was as good as this country was going to cobble together. sabotaging the effort just makes the Republican state houses look like petulant children.

    If the same people who recoil in horror at the forced purchase of health insurance felt the same way about the forced pooling of private property into fracking contracts, I’d feel like they had some credibility.

  3. Vickie Wilson

    September 5, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    I could just barely afford my insurance premium. At least my out of pocket was only $5000 and my monhly premium was only slightly more than $300.00. With this change there is no way because I will turn 60 this year. The ACA doen’t like seniors. A bronze plan is laughable. With a 60/40 ratio what are you getting for a premium that is over $500.00? So much for the Affordable Healthcare Act. What do I do? Play roulette with my health until I turn 65? If you can’t afford the premium, you shouldn’t be made to pay the taxes. But even though they say they won’t make you, they probably will find a way. So much for hope and change.

  4. Skeptic

    September 5, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Ascend–the simple fact is that Republicans are stupid and disgusting. You can’t understand them rationally.

  5. Vickie Wilson

    September 5, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Average people will no longer be able to afford health insurance. That is the sad part. I know I won’t be by myself and I find no comfort in that. We got sacrificed. This was supposed to be more affordable for everyone. I am starting to think the health insurers wrote this bill themselves. They were already making billions. The only time I went to the doctor was for my wellness and my bloodwork.

  6. Mark

    September 6, 2013 at 10:00 am

    They kind of did. The Heritage Foundation laid the foundation for this bill 24 years ago.

  7. wncgirl

    September 6, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Gee Vickie get off your lazy duff and get a second job like the rest of us…. my dad didn’t retire until he was 77… what are you some kind of lazy, free-loading whiner?. You voted Republican…. now shut up and go get sick on someone else’s dime. And FYI which party wanted to give insurance co.s more power?….YOURS… so you reap what you sow… hope you survive your decisions.

  8. Vickie

    September 8, 2013 at 1:05 am

    To wncgirl–If you define lazy as working 60 or more hours a week then you certainly have my number. I learned that from my Dad who was in his seventies before he was forced to retire because the company he worked went out of business.Not that is any of your concern, but I voted Democratic. I wasn’t whining–just very disappointed–at both parties right now. That’s the real problem and I couldn’t help expressing my thoughts. They weren’t grown up enough or cared enough about the people they serve to work this out instead of pointing fingers and trying to defund something that they could just fix the problems. Bill Clinton said as much. Perhaps you might try to learn more about a situation before making snap judgements. You sound like an angry person. I am sorry for you. God Bless you.

  9. Vickie

    September 8, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Wncgirl–if you define working 60+ hours a week as lazy, well, you certainly have my number. My Dad worked as many hours all his life and he didn’t retire until the company went out of business–he was in his 70′s too. Even then he stayed busy that is until he went blind and now at 86 he has Parkinson’s on top of all that but he never complains. I am just glad Social Security is still in tact and Medicare and addtional insurance is still there for him. I hope it is still there for my son and his family when the time comes, but he puts money away like I do so that is comforting. BTW–I am not a Republican but I do have friends that are–do I blame them for voting their way? Of course not. This is still America. They have their beliefs and I have mine. They couldn’t have know what was going to happen. There used to be a time when you could go vote and even when your candidate lost, you were disappointed but not worried about it. Nothing bad was going to happen. You just went on until the next election. Now it is different–too much hate–snap judgements, and when my expressed my frustration I should have clarified that I was disappointed in both parties–because they both have a part in that. Health Reform while it is a good idea and I still believe that, it has some problems that need to be worked out–Bill Clinton said as much the other day. And it could be worked out if both sides would quit pointing fingers and trying to repeal it, if they would just sit down for the good of the people they represent and work out the problems that exist. It is not too late for NC even now to expand Medicaid but unfortunately it is not likely right now. Maybe by the next election–we can always hope. Peace out.

  10. Nancy

    September 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    BCBS North Carolina provides you with exactly what you need to know. and MORE. Watch the video, follow the map. Be prepared however, to wade your way through BCBS’s campaign against the Affordable Health Act. I spent some time professionally reviewing health insurance enrollments, and I don’t ever remember one where the enrollment process used scare tactics to potential consumers.

    Nancy