Cost of healthcare could be heavier in NC - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Cost of healthcare could be heavier in NC

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

For the first time, we are learning just how much premiums will cost under Obamacare. The question has been, will the Affordable Care Act actually be affordable?

One study found the average monthly premium for a 21-year-old would be $270 a month…$330 for a 40-year-old.

That's for people who buy their own insurance.

In about a month, 48 million people are going to have to either pick up an insurance plan or enroll in Medicaid, and while the vast majority of Americans are not going to have to pay full price for a policy, costs could be higher for many in North Carolina.

Officials say about 40% of currently uninsured Americans will qualify for federal subsidies significantly reducing the price of premiums, and many of those left out will end up qualifying for state-supported benefits thanks to the Medicaid expansion sweeping most of the nation.

But that Medicaid expansion is not happening in North Carolina.

In March, Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill blocking proposed changes to the state's Medicaid plan.  About 500,000 low-income people would have qualified for health care coverage if the program had been expanded, but McCrory said he did not believe that the state could take on so many new participants, when a recent state audit reportedly found misspending and administrative mistakes in the current system.

So how much will insurance cost those in North Carolina when the new health care plans roll out?

The North Carolina Department of Insurance gave companies until October 1st to post their rate info, and most are waiting for that deadline to reveal their new rates, because they don't want to give their competitors an edge.

The exception - Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The insurer announced Thursday that the average monthly cost for coverage will start at $145 and top out at about $950 for its platinum product.

Blue Cross will offer health insurance in all of North Carolina's counties.

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