Health Insurance Exchange approved for NC

The N.C. Department of Insurance has approved plans that health insurers will offer in North Carolina through a federally administered Health Insurance Marketplace, but few details have been disclosed.

Although the plans were approved, specifics about those plans are deemed “trade secrets.” Insurers, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, keep them secret as well, although they will be publicly posted online, beginning Oct. 1.

The plans are part of the Affordable Care Act. They will be sold through online marketplaces where individuals can compare various insurance coverages before deciding which one to buy.

Blue Cross of N.C. spokesman Lew Borman says the insurer is working with existing customers in advance of Oct. 1 and will begin selling plans at that point.

The Department of Insurance approved rates for three insurers that intend to sell plans on the marketplace. They are Blue Cross, Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas and FirstCarolinaCare.

Late last year, a Democratic-controlled N.C. General Assembly passed a law to set up an exchange at the state level. One of the first decisions of the new Republican-controlled legislature this year was to repeal that law, meaning the federal government will develop and run the online marketplace in North Carolina.

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