MEDIA RELEASE: Refunds show how health care reform can help push down premiums for consumers

In a statement, the director of the NC JusticeCenter’s Health Access Coalition praises “leadership” of NC Commissioner of Insurance, Blue Cross CEO

RALEIGH (Sep. 20, 2010) -- Today’s joint announcement by NC Blue Cross and the NC Department of Insurance of $155.8 million in refunds to customers with individual insurance policies is welcome news for over 300,000 North Carolinians.

Commissioner of Insurance Wayne Goodwin and Blue Cross CEO Brad Wilson together announced that changes resulting from the new federal health care law resulted in the refunds, averaging 1.5 months of premiums for individual policyholders.  The refunds affect 215,000 individual policies covering over 300,000 people under Blue Cross’ Blue Advantage and Blue Options HSA programs. 

“The federal health care law is presenting opportunities for regulators and health insurers to work together on holding down rate increases and even refunding premiums to consumers,”  said Adam Searing, Director of the NC JusticeCenter’s Health Access Coalition.  “Commissioner Goodwin and Blue Cross CEO Wilson should be commended for their leadership.  Their actions should encourage other players in our health system to use the changes and tools in the new health care law to lower costs for everyone.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Adam Searing, Project Director, North Carolina Health Access Coalition, adam@ncjustice.org,  (919) 856-2568; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, NC Justice Center, jeff@ncjustice.org, 503.551.3615.