CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – March 13, 2024 – UNC Health, North Carolina’s leading public academic medical system, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), the state’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, have signed a new, long-term extension to their network agreement.

The four-year agreement will enable UNC Health and Blue Cross NC to continue collaboration on new ways to improve care and access for patients across North Carolina, especially in rural areas. The agreement gives Blue Cross NC members access to UNC Health across the state, including Commercial, ACA, and Medicare Advantage plans. Blue Cross NC offers individual ACA plans in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. UNC Health has been a part of Blue Cross NC’s ACA network since the beginning, and the anchor for Blue Cross NC’s ACA network in the Triangle.

“We are proud of our decades-long partnership with Blue Cross NC, and the benefits it brings for our patients,” said Dr. Wesley Burks, CEO of UNC Health. “We have introduced multiple, innovative efforts that have helped improve care and reduce costs, and I look forward to further collaboration in the coming years.”

“As health care continues to evolve in our state, it is critical we proactively seek ways to make health care more affordable and accessible,” said Dr. Tunde Sotunde, Blue Cross NC CEO. “We are excited for the possibilities ahead as we continue to work with UNC Health to make sure all North Carolinians have the opportunity to be healthy.”

Working with Blue Cross NC for many years without interruption has provided stability and peace of mind for UNC Health patients and providers.

The extended agreement also includes continued participation in Blue Cross NC’s Blue Premier program, in which UNC Health was an inaugural member in 2019. Blue Premier is recognized as one of the most rapid and comprehensive shifts to value-based (or healthy-based) care in the nation, generating $650 million in savings since 2019. Participating doctors and hospitals and Blue Cross NC are jointly accountable for meeting quality and cost measures. This approach modernizes health care by rewarding quality of care, resulting in fewer unplanned hospital admissions and more preventative care.

UNC Health and Blue Cross NC have a long history of working together. This includes joining forces to conduct a clinical study to improve food security and chronic conditions, and creating a physician’s assistant master’s degree for veteran medics at the UNC School of Medicine.

About UNC Health 

UNC Health is a state entity and an affiliated enterprise of the University of North Carolina system, comprised of 15 hospitals, 19 hospital campuses and more than 900 clinics along with the clinical patient care programs of the UNC School of Medicine (SOM).  

It exists to improve the health and well-being of North Carolinians and others we serve and to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina SOM. UNC Health provided more than $141 million in Charity Care in fiscal year 2022, and more than $522 million over the last five years. Our hospitals have received numerous awards and recognition for quality care, patient safety and the overall patient experience. For more information, please visit


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Blue Cross NC, the leading not-for-profit health plan in North Carolina, is committed to making health care more affordable, easier to navigate and accessible for all. Since 1933, the health insurer has created programs and initiatives to provide North Carolinians the opportunity to be healthy. Blue Cross NC serves its customers and communities of more than 4.2 million members, including approximately 1.1 million on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at All other marks are the property of their respective owners.


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