Earlier this week, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced an average 5.2% health insurance rate reduction for individual plans and a 3.3% reduction for ACA plans offered to small businesses. This is good news for the individual health insurance purchaser in North Carolina. However, we could see an even further reduction in what individual insurance purchasers pay if our state were to find a workable solution for closing the health insurance coverage gap.
Closing the health insurance coverage gap helps reduce individual health insurance premiums, according to a recent issue of the Journal of Health Economics. According to the Health Economics study, states that have closed their coverage gap experience an average of 11-12% lower rates across health insurance plans than states that have not found a solution. In fact, the latest information coming from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Georgetown School of Public Policy indicates that states that recently closed the coverage gap experienced a 15-16% reduction in their average individual insurance rates.
Imagine what this could mean for the insurance consumers of North Carolina. Finding a solution for closing the health insurance coverage gap would not only provide an affordable option for those working North Carolinians who fall into the coverage gap (people not eligible for Medicaid but making too little to get a subsidy on the private market place) but also positively impact the cost for those do buy their health insurance through the private market place.