RALEIGH (May 30, 2023) – Today, the North Carolina Senate passed House Bill 346 through a floor vote of 41–5. Despite the NC Justice Center’s concerns over transparency, regulation, competition, and protecting affordability and accessibility to healthcare, House Bill 346 will soon allow Blue Cross NC to funnel policyholder money into an unregulated shell company and drain nonprofit assets that should be used exclusively to promote the health of North Carolinians.

Despite Blue Cross NC’s claim that it needs to restructure in order to “level the playing field,” in 2022, Blue Cross reported over $10 billion in revenue; the previous year, it controlled 80 percent of the market for individual and group health insurance plans in North Carolina. These figures do not depict an insurance company struggling to compete; nor are they baseless attacks from an iconoclastic progressive organization. They are data that Blue Cross itself reported in year-end financials and submitted to the N.C. Department of Insurance.

In 2021, the same year that Blue Cross had an 80 percent market share, the company denied 2.9 million in-network claims, amounting to a 13.7 percent denial rate. At a time when health insurance costs in North Carolina are the seventh highest in the nation, Blue Cross increased rates by 7.2 percent for customers in 2023.

The lack of transparency in which House Bill 346 was quietly rushed through the legislature proves the power of corporate lobbyists to influence legislation in our state.