The individual market in North Carolina has become less volatile. At Blue Cross NC, we have gotten a better handle on the anticipated medical costs of people covered in this group which has made it easier for us to estimate the necessary price of our ACA health plans.
Put simply, we got information in June and July that made us confident we could reduce our requested rate increase for 2018.
Adjusting our ACA rate request is nothing new for us. In each of the last 3 years, we revised our rate filing to take into account additional claims experience or new developments. In a few of those years, the adjustment increased our rate request. This time, the adjustment is to reduce our request.
We notified the Department of Insurance that we are reducing our requested increase to 14.1 percent as they complete their review. We think this increase will allow our ACA plans to be financially viable while being more affordable for our customers.
Does this mean all the challenges associated with the ACA have gone away? No.
There is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the law. Many customers, particularly those not receiving Federal subsidies, will face challenges affording any premium increase. But for now, we believe we can continue to offer ACA plans in 2018 with a lower premium increase than we initially projected.
Keep in mind that our rates still need to be approved by the North Carolina Department of Insurance. But we believe this is a positive development for our customers with ACA plans.