Skip to main content

5 Ingredients for Better, Simpler, More Affordable Health Care

Tunde Sotunde, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, shares five ingredients critical to successfully transforming the health care system.

7 min read | Industry Perspectives, Thought Leadership

Behavioral health care is in crisis – but payers have the opportunity to shape a better future.

Payment reform can drive the development of a behavioral health system that is flexible and responsive, especially during times of higher demand.

5 min read | Industry Perspectives, Behavioral Health, Thought Leadership, Transforming Healthcare

Supporting Latino Communities Through COVID-19

Latino communities are facing health disparities during COVID-19. So two Blue Cross NC partners stepped up to make sure their communities were not left behind.

5 min read | Community Health, Community Partners, Investments, Public Health Challenges

Expanding Access to Treatment for Substance Use Disorders in North Carolina

Blue Cross NC is committed to combating the substance use disorder crisis in our state through community partners, new solutions and industry-leading approaches.

The Costs of Surprise Medical Billing

Providers deserve to be paid fairly to treat patients. But we can all agree that sending huge surprise bills or engaging in medical price-gouging isn’t right.

Health Care in 2020: The Only Thing That’s Certain is Uncertainty

Blue Cross NC’s chief financial officer Mitch Perry talks lowering rates for members and looking toward the future of health care during the pandemic and beyond.

New Report Shows Maternal Health Continues to Trend in the Wrong Direction

There is work to be done to maximize the chances of healthy pregnancies and births in North Carolina and beyond.

Is Social Distancing Weakening Our Immune Systems?

Social distancing and wearing masks reduces exposure to germs and bacteria. Does less exposure weaken our immune systems?

Managing Chronic Pain During the Pandemic

The pandemic is making it more challenging for people dealing with chronic pain to receive the care they need. Here’s why.

When is it safe to return to the doctor during covid-19?

During the covid-19 pandemic, many of us have been told to “stay home.” Now, as the state begins to reopen, is it safe to return to the doctor?

An Employer’s Playbook For Supporting Employees Post-COVID

Employees are experiencing difficulties because of COVID-19. Here’s how to play an active role in supporting your employees’ mental health needs.

Facts Make Us Safer. Here’s How to Find Them.

Right now, one of the best defenses we have against COVID-19 is accurate information. Learn how to become a coronavirus fact checker.

5 COVID-19 Scams to Stay Away From

Scams are common during the coronavirus pandemic.

5 Things Businesses Are Already Learning from the COVID-19 Crisis

Life during the COVID-19 outbreak is changing our lives in ways we hadn’t contemplated before now.

Ten Years of the Affordable Care Act

It’s been ten years since the landmark passage of the Affordable Care Act, and six years since the Marketplace opened and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) began selling individual plans on the federal marketplace.

Maintaining Strength & Stability for Our Customers in 2019

With spring approaching, we’re entering the season when many Americans file their taxes. At Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Generation Y: Answering Three Critical Questions About Millennials and Behavioral Health

With today’s technological advances, medical innovations, and unprecedented access to information, you might expect millennials, who were born.

A Time for Change: Addressing the Drivers of Health

Around 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates detailed the relationship between our living environment and our health in his book.

Rising to Meet the Challenges of Addiction Treatment

Finding and receiving treatment for addiction is one of the most difficult health care encounters a person can.

Flu Shots: We Debunk Some of the Biggest Myths

Flu season is already here and according to health experts, getting your flu shot this year will be.

What to Know About our 2020 ACA Plans

It’s official: we’re lowering rates by an average of 5.5 percent for 2020 Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans.

We Must Solve the Opioid Problem Without Making the Pain Problem Worse

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” Scholars differ on the origins of that quote, but that debate doesn’t.

Improving the Health of America Starts in Our Communities

One of the most rewarding parts of being a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) employee is knowing that our work is making a positive impact in the lives of millions of North Carolinians.

4 Tips To Help You Discuss Your Mental Health with Your Doctor

You talk to your friends about your life, your frustrations and they offer advice. Your friends know you.

Breaking Stigmas With Education: FAQS On Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

As a psychiatrist, I often come across confusion around my field of work: behavioral health. In my experience,.

We can do better to support working parents

As the Chief People Officer at Blue Cross NC, a lot of my job involves talking to employees,.

Warning Signs for Parents Concerned About Teenage Opioid Abuse

The opioid epidemic gripping North Carolina is not only affecting adults or users of street drugs or illegal.

Introducing Blue Premier: Redefining What is Possible in Health Care

Health care is evolving at a rapid pace and we recognize that this can leave North Carolinians with.

Passing Rebates Back to Customers to Lower Drug Costs

Over the past five years, drug costs as a percent of total health care dollars have increased 30.

The Numbers Don’t Lie: Drug Prices Are Nuts

If you were going to draw up an economy that makes absolutely no sense, you’d start with a.

The Opioid Epidemic: Access Expands for Medication-Assisted Treatment

One way to reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic is to ensure that people have access to.

North Carolina Can’t Wait Any Longer for Value-Based Health Care

During my first few months as chief strategy and innovation officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of.

Trump Administration Medicare Drug Price Announcement Is a Good First Step – Here’s Why It Matters

We welcome the Trump Administration’s recent announcement of a pilot effort to rein in Medicare spending on prescription.

Do You Know What Your Body Mass Index Is?

Body mass index (better known as BMI) is a measurement - based on a person’s height and weight.

North Carolina Has an Opioid Problem, How Did We Get Here?

“We are often loathe to give liberal amounts of narcotics because the drug addiction itself may become a.

The Facts about Falling

The first day of Fall is also is Falls Prevention Awareness Day! Although you may think that falling.

What is Medication Management? Tips to help you stay organized

Medication management is the process of staying up-to-date on the medications you are taking. The term “medication” refers.

What you need to know about our 2019 ACA plans

We are lowering health care costs for many of our individual ACA customers. Statewide, we are lowering rates.

You Have Questions About Opioids in North Carolina – We Have Answers

Over the past year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) has tried to foster a conversation with consumers about the opioid epidemic…

Sticking with you through ACA ups and downs

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) came to North Carolina in 2014. It has had its ups and downs..

Preventive Health – It’s Not Just for Kids

The good news is, Americans agree nearly unanimously on two things. The bad news is, one of those.

On Opioids, North Carolina Is Making Progress

The opioid problem won’t be solved overnight. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make significant progress in the.

Preventing Child Abuse Is A Healthy Investment For All

The foundations of life are literally built in early childhood. A vital and productive society with a prosperous.

From Army medic to Physician Assistant: Helping transform NC’s medical deserts

Imagine this scenario. You’re in a combat zone. You have to tend to the gunshot wound of a.

Doctors Working at an Insurance Company? Yes, and Here’s Why

I’m lucky to have a career in medicine that gives me the chance to see the health care.

What you need to know about tobacco in 2018

For centuries, tobacco has been a main crop in North Carolina. A lack of soil quality and fewer.

The Truth About Drug Companies’ Influence on Your Doctor’s Prescriptions

These days, it seems like every TV commercial break is filled with nothing but ads for medications. Drug.

Weak Bones, Oh No! – Osteoporosis 101

Since a young age, our parents always stressed the value of having strong bones. They would say things.

How to Unlock Artificial Intelligence in Health Care

At our recent Tech Summit, I spoke about one of technology’s top trends, artificial intelligence. It’s playing a.

High Blood Pressure: What You Need to Know about the Silent Killer

As humans, we believe that what we can’t see, can’t hurt us. We are wrong. What we can’t.

Changes to our Opioid Policies

Every day, opioid addiction destroys lives and tears apart families in North Carolina. It is a public health.

Read Your Way to Better Health

Want to help your kids turn into healthy adults? Make sure they become good readers. That’s right. There’s.

The opioid epidemic: How we’re turning talk into action

The opioid epidemic is one of the most talked-about and devastating problems we face every day in North.

Thinking Broadly About Investing in Health

Often, when people think about what shapes a person’s health, they think about routine doctor visits, medications, and.

Everybody Hurts: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Pain

In the old days, life often began with an introduction to an unpleasant sensation called pain. A doctor.

Addressing Social Needs to make Health Care More Affordable

As a practicing physician, I’ve seen how investments to improve early childhood development and address social determinants of.

What We Are Doing With Our Tax Savings

It’s true. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is a not-for-profit health insurer..

A best-in-class experience starts here

Since moving to North Carolina a few months ago, my family and I have enjoyed getting to know.

The Perfect Storm for a Severe Flu Season

The 2017-2018 flu season has turned deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there.

How Should We Define “Value” in Health Care?

In health care we haven’t always focused on improving quality, lowering costs, and offering a better consumer experience..

Blue Cross NC and Mission Health Reach New Agreement

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (“Blue Cross NC”) and Mission Health have entered into an.

Your Top ACA Open Enrollment Questions Answered

Open Enrollment is upon us (Nov. 1 to Dec. 15) and many customers are asking questions on social.

What you need to know about Grandfathered Plans

In August we informed customers that we planned to eliminate Grandfathered Plans. We also recently sent out letters.

Early Breast Cancer Detection Saves Lives

Women are masters of multi-tasking. Often a busy lifestyle and responsibilities cause them to put their health on.

Believe It or Not, Abuse-Deterrent Opioids Aren’t the Answer

All of us are likely familiar with the seriousness of opioid abuse in the United States today. Since.

STOP is a Start: New NC Law Aims to Prevent Addiction, Deaths

A couple of months ago, I published a story about a former patient of mine who became addicted.

Mission Health System Cancels Contract With Blue Cross NC

In this time of uncertainty in the health care industry, one thing is certain: skyrocketing medical costs are.

3 Millennial Health Trends Employers Need to Know

You may have read a lot about millennials, also called Generation Y, on our blog recently. Born between.

Many Drug Prices Are Sky High. A New Law Would Send Them Higher.

Would you pay $17 for a gallon of milk? You would have to if the cost of milk.

Premiums to Rise in 2018 for Affordable Care Act Plans

Two weeks ago our CEO, Brad Wilson, wrote about the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and.

The Future of the Affordable Care Act is Certainly Uncertain

Uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act is not helping health insurers prepare to offer ACA.

“I’ve Been Lying to You”: A Physician Learns Her Patient Has a Drug Problem

After being a patient of mine for nearly a year, an elderly woman came into my office for.

Consumers Deserve Transparency and Value in Health Care

We live in an age when we can buy groceries from our living room and have them delivered.

You’re Paying for High-Cost Drugs, Even If You’re Not the One Taking Them

If you’ve been reading the news lately, you’ve probably heard about specialty drugs. And more often than not,.

A Proposed Law Would Mean Higher Drug Prices for NC

If you’re reading this – if you’ve been conscious and alert for the past several decades – you.

How We Grew Stronger for Our Customers in 2016

The time of year has come when many of us are crunching numbers, reviewing our finances and prepping.

3 More Major Myths about the Affordable Care Act in North Carolina

Our last blog post addressing some common misconceptions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – commonly known as.

3 Affordable Care Act Myths That Refuse to Die

In this era of “fake news” and opinions that are stated with convincing certainty, you may find it.

Wearables and Health Care Costs: Are they related?

In 2014, BCBSNC gave 3,500 free or discounted Fitbits to its employees who wanted to take part in.

Why Does Insulin Cost So Much After 95 Years?

[learn_more caption=”Update” state=”open”] In December 2016, Eli Lilly & Co. announced a discount program effective in 2017 for.

5 Myths About the EpiPen Price Hike

You’ve probably heard some of the recent conversation about the steep price hikes for the EpiPen, an injection.

We’ve Got an Eye on These Expensive Specialty Drugs

Of all the things driving medical costs higher, none gets attention quite like specialty drugs. With prices increasing.

Narrow Networks Are Becoming the Norm, and That’s OK

From cutting the cable cord to buying “tiny homes,” consumers today are taking a hard look at the.

What Will It Take to Improve the Affordable Care Act?

Blue Cross CEO Brad Wilson has a prescription for making the Affordable Care Act sustainable. He shared his thoughts.

Do Generics Always Save You Money? It’s Complicated.

There was a time when generic drugs were the tried-and-true way to save money on prescriptions. While that’s.

Individual Rates Will Rise to Offset ACA Costs

If you buy your own individual health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, we have news on what.

Our Return to Profitability and What’s to Come

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina returned to profitability in 2015. Our financial health improved from.

Is Health Insurance a Priority in the Gig Economy?

Working as a freelancer or contractor is a good option for millions of Americans who can do without.

What Happens When a Hospital Gets Too Expensive?

As a company who has served North Carolina for as long as we have, we don’t take it.

8 Health Insurance Myths You Might Have Heard

Health insurance. It’s on the minds of Americans now more than ever, especially since health insurers began implementing.

What Insurers Must Do to Accelerate Health Care Reform Now

The first car I ever bought was a 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. I cannot recall exactly what I.

Countdown to ACA Coverage for 2016: Here’s Why Rates Are Higher

The main goal of the Affordable Care Act was to provide health insurance to more people. That has.

Out-of-Control Prescription Drug Costs: Who’s Doing What About It

The Rx Cost Debate With prescription drug spending soaring, many consumers and health care experts are wondering if.

Here’s What Happens When 60,000 People Drop Their Insurance Coverage

Health insurance works by having a large pool of customers paying in. So when a fraction of that.

Why the Affordable Care Act Didn’t Put Insurance Agents Out of Business

When the Affordable Care Act took effect, there were a host of predictions that the new law would.

Prescription Drug Costs Up 33% in One Year. How Is That Possible?

In a climate of sharply higher health care costs under the Affordable Care Act, one number stands out:.

How Non-Emergency ER Visits Skyrocket Health Care Costs

It seemed like the right thing to do at the time: You’re not feeling well. It’s late. You’re.

New Data Shows Where Your Health Insurance Premium Dollar Goes

Since the start of the Affordable Care Act, BCBSNC has exceeded the law’s requirements for spending on medical.

The Big Telemedicine Trend: More Coverage, New Innovations in NC

The Roots of Telemedicine What were you doing in November of 1997? Maybe you were at home on the.

The Snapshot of North Carolina’s ACA Market Isn’t Pretty

According to a common phrase, “All health care is local.” This is certainly true in North Carolina, where.

Think Insurers Are Cashing in on the ACA? Think Again.

Last week the federal government issued a report about payments to health insurers under the Affordable Care Act..

Today’s Supreme Court Decision Means Business As Usual for Obamacare

Since its inception, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, has been a source of confusion.

Here Come the New Cholesterol Drugs. They Won’t Be Cheap.

More than 25 million Americans are on statin drugs to lower their cholesterol. Statins have been around for.

Can’t We Do Something to Better Coordinate Care?

There really is a solution to the age-old problem of uncoordinated health care — the kind of care.

Yes, You’ll Probably Pay More for Your Health Insurance in 2016, and Here’s Why

It’s never easy to hear that the price of a product or service that you’ve come to rely.

Will There Be Enough Primary Care Doctors in North Carolina?

Every so often a report comes out that forecasts a physician shortage, especially among primary care doctors. It.

2015: The Year of Health Care Cost Transparency

There’s more good news for health care consumers who want some idea what medical procedures cost — before.

Why Our 2014 Net Loss Wasn’t a Surprise

Our 2014 financial results, announced to news media today (Feb. 27) and filed with North Carolina insurance regulators,.

One Step Closer to Solving the Health Care Cost Mystery

The Bigger Picture The launch of our new health care cost tool picked up some national attention earlier this month..

The Health Care Forecast for 2015 in Three Steps

Health care accounts for almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy — or $2.8 trillion, give or take a.

We’re Bringing Cost Transparency to all North Carolinians

How would you feel if you were expected to buy a car, a television or even a meal,.

How Will the Future of Health Care Be Different from the Present?

Imagine a future where you — the health care consumer — are truly in charge of your care..

What to Know and Do About Medical Overtreatment

Have you ever wondered if every medical test or procedure is really necessary? Clearly, some aren’t. The Institute.

Progress in the March Toward Better Health Care Value

You might not know it, but the odds are increasing that your doctor or hospital is getting paid.

Health Care Fraud: The $80 Billion Crime

In a nation that spends a few trillion dollars a year on health care, there are bound to.

Another Private Exchange Opens for Business in NC

Get ready for more options when it comes to choosing your annual health benefits. BCBSNC is launching its.

The Drug That Costs $1,000 a Day — And Why You Should Care

You have to love the TV pitchman’s favorite question: “Why pay more?” But it’s no longer good for.

Costly Habits: What $1.5 Trillion Looks Like

All the cheeseburgers, cigarettes and channel-surfing Americans enjoy certainly take their toll: Unhealthy lifestyles account for up to.

Exchanging Glances: More Employers Looking at Private Exchanges

The first cycle of enrollments on the new government-run health exchanges is over. The next open enrollment period.

The Building Blocks of Hospital Quality in North Carolina

If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll have noticed that collaboration is at the heart of what we.

What Happens When Hospitals Buy Up Physicians?

If you’re searching for evidence that health care consolidation drives up health care costs, look no farther than.