Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has released pricing information for the plans it will sell on the state's health insurance exchange. Costs for the 26 plans available on the online marketplace range from $185 for 25-year-olds to $947 for a 60-year old.
"Health reform is complicated, and it affects everyone differently," Barbara Morales Burke, BCBSNC's vice president of health policy and chief compliance officer, said Thursday in a statement. "We want to help North Carolina consumers understand how they will be affected and provide information to support them in making the best decision for their personal situation."
The least expensive option, called the bronze plan, would range between $185 and $593, while a gold plan would cost anywhere from $284 and $851. The most expensive plan, the platinum version, ranges from $318 and $947. All the cost estimates are based on non-smoking members and don't reflect federal subsidies, BCBSNC said.
"The ACA will make coverage available to many who have never had it and will enhance benefits for most consumers. These are good things, but they come at a cost," Patrick Getzen, BCBSNC vice president and chief actuary, said in the statement.
But despite predictions that the reform law will lead to higher premiums, Adam Linker, health policy analyst with the N.C. Justice Center, said BCBSNC's rates are reasonable. "These rates are coming in lower than expected, which is kind of interesting because we have less competition," he told the Charlotte News & Observer. "Given the dire predictions, you see rates that, with subsidies, are certainly within reach of most people."