United to sell ACA plans in North Carolina

There has been word of this for awhile, but this is the most public statement I have seen confirming that United will sell ACA plans in North Carolina next year. Historically, Blue Cross Blue Shield N.C. had over 90% of the individual purchase market in the state. Coventry was the only company that offered plans in addition to BCBS NC in 2014 (and only in around 35 of the 100 counties), but United says they will offer plans this coming year in nearly all 100 counties. 

North Carolina had one of their higher private insurance uptake rates in year one of the ACA. United says they are coming for a share of this (stronger than expected) market.

One of the key questions for any state’s ACA marketplace is how many insurers are going to offer their plans? The plain reality is that a year ago–and for the previous 20–there was really only one game in town for the individual purchase market. At the next ACA open enrollment in November, there will be three choices in at least some N.C. counties, and two is almost all of them.

If you think competition in insurance is good, this is an incremental, positive step.

About Don Taylor
Professor of Public Policy (with appointments in Business, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute), and Chair of the Academic Council at Duke University https://academiccouncil.duke.edu/ . I am one of the founding faculty of the Margolis Center for Health Policy. My research focuses on improving care for persons who are dying, and I am co-PI of a CMMI award in Community Based Palliative Care. I teach both undergrads and grad students at Duke. On twitter @donaldhtaylorjr

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