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The healthcare needs of the members we serve are evolving dramatically at this critical moment in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s 90-year history. Thanks to our state leaders’ diligence in making North Carolina an ideal place to live and work, more people are coming here every day. For today and tomorrow, we need a modern health care system that can support them.
As the only mission-driven, not-for-profit health insurer in the state, Blue Cross NC must be an integral part of that system.
North Carolina is a state that embraces its heritage while preparing for the future. At Blue Cross NC, we embrace this same mindset. However, our continued ability to meet the expectations of customers, providers, businesses, and communities is threatened by decades-old regulations that prevent Blue Cross NC from operating and investing in assets, solutions and capabilities to improve the health and well-being of its members like a modern, diversified healthcare organization.
Proposed legislation, currently under consideration by the N.C. General Assembly with bipartisan support in both chambers, seeks to modernize these outdated regulations for hospital service corporations like Blue Cross NC. This allows us to update our structure and invest more rapidly in new health solutions that North Carolinians deserve. Importantly, the bill reaffirms our unique not-for-profit mission to improve the health and well-being of our communities.
Being a mission-driven, not-for-profit allows us to stand alongside the state through ups and downs. We stayed in the Affordable Care Act market despite losing more than $300 million during the program’s first few years. When shareholder pressure and financial losses led for-profit insurers to abandon some communities, Blue Cross NC continued to offer insurance in all 100 counties.
We have brought treatment centers for substance abuse and addiction to 13 counties, and made investments in back-office support to alleviate administrative and financial burdens, so physicians have more time to focus on patients.
Through our collaborations with doctors and hospitals, we increased colorectal cancer screens in 2021 by 24,000, helping to identify and treat the second leading cause of death in U.S., reduced hospital readmissions by 5% in 2021, and staved off a potential $1 billion in premium increases over the past five years.
We are proud of these accomplishments, but the healthcare needs of North Carolinians continue to grow — and current regulatory barriers limit Blue Cross NC’s ability to do more.
We have worked tirelessly alongside stakeholders on legislation that meets the needs of North Carolinians. Legislative leaders and the Department of Insurance have strengthened the legislation to clarify consumer protections, oversight and transparency.
The legislation ensures the reorganization complies with the law and makes clear all investments will support Blue Cross NC’s mission, including in rural areas of the state. The bill contains no provisions that will increase costs to members, and we will still be subject to all state and federal regulations over health insurance. Importantly, we will continue to be required to spend at least 80% of your premium dollars on medical care.
Blue Cross NC is not your typical health insurer. We are honored to serve as North Carolina’s home-state not-for-profit insurer. We will continue to walk beside the communities we serve, working together to cultivate the right solutions and meaningful partnerships. North Carolina is where the weak grow strong, and the strong grow great, and I believe that starts with the opportunity to be healthy. We at Blue Cross NC want to make sure that everyone has that opportunity. We are committed to making healthcare better for all.