Blue Cross Raises Rate Hike Sought On Affordable Care Plans

FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2014 file photo, the website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina’s largest health insurer says it’s surprised by the costs after two years of selling federally subsidized coverage and needs to charge even more than it thought two months ago.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said Thursday it’s now seeking an average 35 percent higher premium for insurance sold under President Barack Obama’s health insurance overhaul law. The company said in June it wanted to raise rates by an average of almost 26 percent starting in January, compared with this year’s allowed 13.5 percent increase.

Blue Cross vice president Patrick Getzen says the program has not met expectations that healthier customers would enroll in the second year and that costs would level out after people who avoided doctors for years got treatment.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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