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Blue Cross and Blue Shield to issue refunds, raise rates

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- North Carolina's largest health insurer says it will refund $155 million to more than 215,000 individual policyholders as a result of the Affordable Care Act that took effect earlier this year.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina chief executive Brad Wilson said in a news release Monday that individual policyholders will get back the equivalent of one and half months of premiums paid. The average refund will be about $700 and should be paid before the end of the year.

The company also said the state Insurance Department approved a 5.3 percent rate increase for some individual policies, less than the 7 percent Blue Cross had requested.

Blue Cross insures 3.7 million people in North Carolina. About 300,000 customers buy their own health insurance.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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