UnitedHealthcare proposes selling insurance in NC

unitedhealthcareUnitedHealthcare has become the third insurer to announce plans to sell federally subsidized health insurance in North Carolina.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the health insurer notified the N.C. Department of Insurance that it intends to sell subsidized coverage in the state under the Affordable Care Act. It filed its plans just days ahead of a Friday deadline for insurers to submit plans for federal certification.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield is one of just two insurers in North Carolina that offer subsidized policies this year. The other is Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas. Both have notified state insurance officials that they plan to participate in the federal insurance exchange in 2015.

Blue Cross said it will operate in all 100 counties in 2015. It’s not clear where Coventry and United will focus.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, UnitedHealthcare currently offers subsidized individual policies in just four states.

“All eyes have been on United because United can immediately provide competition with Blue Cross,” said Adam Linker, a health policy analyst with the N.C. Justice Center. “It could really shake up the market share of individual plans in North Carolina.”

Blue Cross, the state’s biggest health insurer with 3.8 million customers, has dominated North Carolina’s market for individual policies for years. The Chapel Hill nonprofit organization sold federally subsidized policies to 232,000 people in North Carolina for 2014.

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