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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is honored to serve our members each day. We do not take for granted that in an increasingly competitive market, North Carolinians have other options when they choose their health insurance. Blue Cross NC is in the business of caring for people’s health, and like any other competitive business, we must adhere to basic principles to ensure our success: keeping costs down and meeting the needs of our customers.
That is why we support proposed legislation that will provide more flexibility for our company to rapidly invest in new solutions and services for our members.The bill – which has bipartisan support and has been endorsed by many of North Carolina’s leading non-profits and business organizations – would modernize Blue Cross NC’s structure and give us the best chance to remain a mission-driven North Carolina not-for-profit. It is in direct support of our goals for affordability and access, which are at the center of everything we do. Any claims to the contrary are patently false.
- The bill enables Blue Cross NC to find new ways to address the cost premiums and improve coverage. The legislation does not cause premiums to go up.
- All insurance rates in North Carolina are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Department of Insurance, and nothing in the legislation will change that. Nor will it change federal requirements that we spend 80 percent of each premium dollar on medical care and have sufficient provider networks.
- The bill leaves oversight with the Department of Insurance and ensures that it remains the regulator of Blue Cross NC.
- The bill ensures transparency by requiring reporting by the company about the types of investments that are made and salaries of executives – on top of reporting requirements that already exist in law.
- This bill ensures that this modernized structure remains committed and focused on the Blue Cross NC mission.
- Through this modernized structure, we can preserve our nonprofit status, remain North Carolina based, and continue to fulfill the mission at the core of our business: making care more affordable and expanding access to care across the state – including in our rural counties.
The process to craft this legislation has been transparent, and legislators have refined the bill over the past several months to include important protections offered by regulators, policyholders and the state. This legislation allows us to invest in more programs and partnerships to improve health care for our members and North Carolinians.
In fact, Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance companies in other states have made similar changes, resulting in expanded benefits for members and new jobs.
Our past efforts have brought expanded access to mental health care providers for youth, rural counties and diverse populations; new technology and more seamless care throughout pregnancies; and our work with providers and hospitals has reduced hospital readmission rates by 5% in 2021 and prevented a potential $1 billion in premium increases over the past five years. With more flexibility, we can continue and expand this important work.
For 90 years, Blue Cross NC has adapted to rapid changes in our state, health care innovation and our customers’ evolving needs and expectations. Our role as the only statewide not-for-profit, mission-driven health insurance in the state is important to us, and it’s important for North Carolina. North Carolinians need more: more affordable care, more access to important services and a more seamless care experience.
And here’s my commitment to you: Blue Cross NC wants to meet these needs and adapt to address new challenges, while remaining accountable to the state and to our members. We have been honored to serve North Carolina for nearly a century, and we look forward to another century of making health care better for all of us.