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Blue Cross says insurance rate letter may be shocking, but there are options

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Just days before the implementation of the Health Insurance Marketplace, thousands of people across the state are receiving rate plan letters that are leaving them gasping over rate increases. Just days before the implementation of the Health Insurance Marketplace, thousands of people across the state are receiving rate plan letters that are leaving them gasping over rate increases.
CARY, N.C. -

Just days before the implementation of the Health Insurance Marketplace, thousands of people across the state are receiving rate plan letters that are leaving them gasping over rate increases.

After working 10 years at Logics Software Solutions as the vice president of sales, Gregg Bavisotto recently co-founded Bidpromo.com and needed a high deductible policy to cover emergencies.

"I play hockey, so if I got a puck in the face or something like that I could go to the emergency room and at least I'd be covered if my bill was over $5,000," Bavisotto explained.

Bavisotto's insurance policy covers just him and had been running $72 per month. The Cary man expected an increase when the Affordable Care Act went into effect, but he wasn't expecting a jump of more than 300 percent per month.

"Going from $72 to $242 is pretty substantial," said the 35-year-old of his new insurance premium under the Affordable Care Act. "If it went from $72 to $80 to $100, even, that's doable -- I'm OK with that."

Blue Cross and Blue Shield said rate plan letters shouldn't be a cause for panic and it has a number of plans that may better fit your budget.

"Our company has 26 different plans that are available," said Lew Borman, with BCBS of North Carolina.

Borman said the rates quoted in the letters also might not be what you end up paying.

"After subsidies, two thirds of our customers would see rate increases along the same lines as the cost of medical care that they've seen over past several years," Borman explained.

However, one third of its customers could see their rates go up significantly partly because of new costs associated with the ACA.

"There are eight new taxes and fees that come on board to pay for all this, so it's a big package and there are increases associated with this above and beyond the normal costs of health," Borman said.

Bavisotto said he'll shop around at Blue Cross and elsewhere because $242 per month is a deal breaker.

"I know there are online companies that when you put in your measures they'll find you a cheaper insurance," Bavisotto said.

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Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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