BCBS: Lots Of Older And Sicker Sign Up In North Carolina

There’s a little bit of good news for Democrats regarding the federally run “Affordable” Care Exchange here in North Carolina, but, not much

(WRAL) The people who signed up for health coverage with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina through the Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace are older and sicker than expected, which could mean higher premiums in the future, the insurer said Thursday.

Blue Cross was one of only two companies to offer plans in North Carolina through the online marketplace, and as of May 1, 232,000 people were on Blue Cross marketplace plans. Seventy percent of them didn’t have coverage through Blue Cross previously, the company said.

That 70% number is the only bright spot. Sort of. Because Dems can spin that they had no insurance. Of course, 160,000 North Carolina BCBS customers lost their coverage thanks to Obamacare. That doesn’t count all those who had policies with other companies, obviously. One has to wonder where they all went.

Initial Blue Cross projections called for 50 percent of the marketplace customers to be 34 years old or younger, but after the enrollment period ended on March 31, the company found that only 32 percent of the people who signed up under the federal health care law fit that profile. Forty percent are ages 35 to 54, and 29 percent are 55 or older. (snip)

Thirteen percent of enrollees ages 18 to 34 reported experiencing chronic pain as part of a Blue Cross self-assessment, compared with 8 percent for the age group as a whole. Seven percent have diabetes, compared with 4 percent of the group as a whole, and 24 percent said they have depression, compared with 14 percent for the group as a whole.

What does all this mean? A problematic pool of customers, sicker and/or older, which will send premiums much higher. Pair that with deductibles which are already pretty high. Here in Wake County, the deductibles are between $5,200 and $6,600. BCBS also has a concern that the enrollees will simply keep coverage to the medical issue is taken care of then drop the plans. Remember, Obamacare insurance companies were already making noise about having to raise premiums for 2015 because of the poor mixes on the exchanges.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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