Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will hike premiums for Obamacare plans on the individual market by an average 24.3 percent for 2017.
Blue Cross received an average 32.5 percent rate increase for 2016, one of the highest in the country, according to the Charlotte Observer. Next year’s hike is higher than the 19 percent estimated six months ago in state Department of Insurance filings.
Blue Cross in a blog post blamed the bigger increase on the withdrawal of UnitedHealthcare and Aetna from the state’s Obamacare marketplace.
UnitedHealthcare’s stock rallied as much as 6 percent on Tuesday after the company said next year will be better without money-losing Obamacare plans. The company will stop selling Obamacare plans in nearly all of the 34 states where it sold them for 2016, after saying it would take $850 million in losses on the policies this year.
Blue Cross insures more than 300,000 in North Carolina through the federal exchange, and it expects to enroll about 260,000 additional Obamacare customers dropped by UnitedHealthcare and Aetna.
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