60 percent reductions in premiums
A North Carolina Senate Bill (SB 725) recently filed by Sen. Phil Berger (R – Rockingham) would allow North Carolinians access to health insurance plans authorized in other states. Such a move would lower the number of uninsured in our state and lower health insurance costs at a time when many desperately need it.
Under current law, North Carolina citizens are restricted to purchasing only from state government-approved health providers and plans, which must include 47 coverage mandates.
“Currently, North Carolina laws deny its citizens access to more affordable coverage offered in other states,” said Civitas Institute Policy Analyst Brian Balfour. “Why would lawmakers want to continue to deny struggling North Carolina families access to significant health care savings?”
North Carolina’s average annual family health insurance premium is higher than 30 states and, for instance, is:
- 61 percent more expensive than Iowa’s average rate
- 55 percent more costly than North Dakota’s average rate
Other potential impacts of SB 725 would include:
- Lowering the number of uninsured North Carolinians, as more people are able to find affordable coverage.
- Drive down the costs of in-state plans, as in-state providers are forced to compete with more affordable options.
- Save taxpayers money, as more people being able to afford private insurance means fewer seeking government coverage.
“In short, SB 725 would save health insurance customers money at no cost to taxpayers, lower the number of uninsured in North Carolina and possibly save taxpayers money to boot,” stated Balfour.
With all that said – who could be against this bill?
- Expect heavy opposition to come from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Introducing out-of-state options will chip away at their near-monopoly status in this state, and force them to create more innovative and affordable options.
“Especially in these difficult economic times, North Carolina Senators who oppose SB 725 will have a hard time explaining why they decided to side with health insurance giants to deny struggling North Carolinians access to affordable health insurance,” concluded Balfour.
If you would like more information regarding this topic or to schedule an interview with Brian Balfour, please contact Gabe Dellinger at 919.747.8065 or Gabe.Dellinger@nccivitas.org.