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NC OKs increase on Blue Cross individual policies

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's top insurance regulator is announcing days after his re-election that the state's largest health insurer can raise prices by an average of 8 percent on individuals paying for their own coverage.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced Friday that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina won approval for the increase on 365,000 of its 3.6 million customers who buy their own health insurance. The company wanted a 10 percent increase. Rates for individual coverage rose this year by an average of 5 percent.

Blue Cross has more than 90 percent of the state's individual health insurance market.

Customers of the Blue Cross Blue Advantage, Blue Saver and Blue Options HSA plans will be notified by letter what their specific rate increases will be in 2013.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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