Blue Cross missing age, sales target for ACA could mean higher bills

RALEIGH

The state's largest health provider says this is due to the lower than expected number of younger enrollees in Obamacare. It's that lack of younger enrollees that's the trouble.

They say the average customer older than 34 usually needs more in terms of healthcare than someone younger. So that costs more, and costs you.

Amanda LaRoque and her husband own their own business, and buy their own insurance, which Amanda says doubled since they signed on with the Affordable Care Act.

"We pay $998.70 for two people," said Amanda.

Amanda is not happy about this news of a premium increase with her provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, but she's not surprised.

"From the whole beginning when they introduced the Affordable Care Act, they said if they didn't get enough young people, there was a good possibility it was going to go up," said Amanda.

The goal was to enroll 50-percent of people 34 years and younger, which did not happen. Instead they landed at 32-percent.

So, the state's largest insurance provider is warning customers now about what premium prices could look like in 2015, but not everyone could be in for sticker shock.

"Many of the people who qualify for Affordable Care Act plans, their coverage includes a subsidy," said Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina spokesperson Lew Borman. "Over 91-percent of those customers enrolled this year have access to subsidies. So they may not, in fact, feel the possible rate increases."

Borman also says while the rates could still go up for a lot people. The Affordable Care Act impact only applies to individual plans, which amounts to 10-percent of its customers.

That figure includes LaRoque and her husband, who have been already hit with a hefty increase. One they don't think they can do again.  

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina says the earliest the amount of that increase would be known is June.

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