CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – On Nov. 15, North Carolinians will begin re-enrolling and signing up for the first time for individual health insurance plans for coverage effective in 2015. Today, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) previewed rates for individual coverage Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans that will be available both on and off the Health Insurance Marketplace, as well as rates for grandfathered and transitional plans.

The implementation of the ACA created three different groups of individual health insurance customers. Here are descriptions of those groups and average expected rate increases:  

Type of Plan

Description Average Increase

Guaranteed-issue plans available both on and off the Health Insurance Marketplace

13.5 percent

Plans purchased before March 23, 2010, that have not been changed

13.4 percent

Plans sold between March 23, 2010, and Oct. 1, 2013

19.2 percent


“There are three distinct categories in the individual health insurance market, and each is affected differently,” said Patrick Getzen, BCBSNC vice president and chief actuary. “Rates are based on the population of each group and the medical services they use. There needs to be a mix of customers within each category to balance risk and expected costs.”

Some customers may see rate changes that vary significantly from the average increase for their group. Many ACA customers will benefit from federal subsidies that are available to qualified consumers based on household income. Several factors impact rates, including the population of the group and the medical services they are using.

The Annual Enrollment Period runs from Nov. 15, 2014, through Feb. 15, 2015. Dec. 15 is the deadline to enroll for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2015. BCBSNC is the only insurer in the state that plans to offer coverage in all 100 North Carolina counties on the Health Insurance Marketplace.  The company is offering up to 35 plans, which will provide a broad range of options and networks for customers to choose from.

“It is important for customers to understand their health care needs, update their information to get the subsidy amount they are eligible to receive and select an insurance plan with the level of coverage they want at a price that works for them and their family,” said Getzen.

Customers can compare plans beginning Nov. 15 by visiting


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.84 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at