Affordable Care Act

Blue Cross Blue Shield NC headquarters in Durham.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

After years of rising prices for Affordable Care Act health insurance plans, many North Carolinians are in for a nice surprise – a price decrease. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina says the state approved its request to lower rates an average of 4.1 percent across the state. In the Charlotte and Gastonia areas premiums could decrease by as much as 16.5 percent. The amount will vary based on the tax credits people qualify for.

Blue Cross Blue Shield NC headquarters in Durham.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

Insurance rates could go down next year for some Affordable Care Act participants in North Carolina.

Healthcare.gov

Preliminary numbers show 8.8 million people bought health insurance plans through the federal exchange this year nationwide. That’s 96 percent of last year’s sign-ups, despite a lot of changes to the Affordable Care Act and a shorter window to enroll. Sign-ups in the Carolinas were also close to that of last year.  

Healthcare.gov

This is the last week to sign up for health insurance through the exchange. More than 209,000 people in North Carolina have enrolled as of the first week in December, according to the federal count. 

Healthcare.gov

There is now a disincentive for health insurance navigators to set up shop in rural areas. Navigators are those specially trained people that help consumers sign up for health insurance on the marketplace. The Trump administration has tied their funding to how many people they sign up for coverage on the marketplace. Since chances are higher of signing up more people in urban areas, navigators in South Carolina are focusing on cities at the expense of rural areas.

healthcare.gov

It is unclear how many North Carolinians would be left uninsured under the updated Senate health bill. It was estimated that an earlier version of the bill would increase the uninsured population across the country by 22 million over the next decade.

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis spoke with WFAE this week about health care, immigration and the climate in Washington.
WFAE/UNC-TV

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis is used to fielding a lot of questions. It goes with the job. But many questions in the last two weeks have concerned his health since he passed out during a road race in Washington, D.C.

"I ran the fastest 2.5 mile race of my life. Unfortunately, it was a 3-mile race," he quips.  

As you can tell, Tillis says he’s fine. He says he just didn’t hydrate properly.

Of course, Tillis still gets asked about President Trump, Russia, health care, and immigration  - all topics he addressed with WFAE’s David Boraks.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina

North Carolina's largest health insurer is looking to raise premiums for its Obamacare plans by an average of 23 percent. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina sent the rate hike request to state regulators Thursday.

A big reason for the increase: efforts to end Obamacare.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, best known as Obamacare.

And this version is different from a version the House failed to pass just weeks ago.

Governor Roy Cooper's effort to expand North Carolina's Medicaid program is on hold for at least two weeks, following a federal judge's order over the weekend. 

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