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Insurance provider issues refunds to comply with health reform law

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TWC News: Insurance provider issues refunds to comply with health reform law
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RALEIGH – Some big bucks could soon be back in the pockets of individual Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina policy holders. In a joint press conference Monday between the company and the NC Insurance Commissioner's Office, a $155.6 million refund was announced.

“Now clearly this is a win for our customers,” says BCBS CEO Brad Wilson.

BCBS says because of the new federal healthcare reform law, it will be able to return some money to individual policy holders.

“The new rating and grandfathering rules in the healthcare reform law create a one time opportunity,” explained Wilson, “and we are making sure it benefits our customers.”

If you pay the average individual policy holder premium of $380 a month, under this refund you will be getting a check in the mail for $690. Insurance commissioner Wayne Goodwin's office helped find the money.

“I consider this amount of money and this announcement historic, unique,” said Goodwin, “and I think very welcome in the times that we are in economically.”

BCBS says while it is happy to make this announcements, policy holders should expect a lot more changes to come before the federal law is fully implemented before 2014.

“So between now and then, Blue Cross and all the other insurance companies across America, will be redesigning their products to conform to the new healthcare reform law so that is what will be available after the fact,” said Wilson.

In addition to the refund announcement, Blue Cross announced lower than expected premium increases for individual policy holders next year: 5.37 percent for Blue Advantage and 2.06 percent for Blue Option.

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