Blue Cross: Federal Insurance Changes Mean Higher Costs For 1/3 Of Customers

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina's largest health insurer says the federal health insurance overhaul law kicking in next year will mean higher costs for about a third of its customers who pay for their own coverage and lower or stable prices for about two-thirds.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield said Friday many customers who buy individual policies will see prices climb by more than 18 percent in 2014, the average increase for small groups. About 10 percent of Blue Cross customers bought their own coverage last year.

Blue Cross filed documents with state and federal agencies explaining coverage and prices for individual policies it will sell on a new, online insurance marketplace required by the Affordable Care Act. The insurer is keeping its prices secret until the health benefit exchange opens in October.