North Carolina insurance regulators say they plan to expedite the rate review process in order to prevent thousands of state residents from losing their individual health plans. Insurers were terminating those policies because they don’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. But President Obama pledged this week to allow people to hold onto their current policies for another year.
North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin says usually the whole review takes several months, but his office will only have a few weeks to go through the plans.
"Instead of conducting the thorough review on the front end to ensure compliance with law, we’ll be conducting the more thorough scrutiny of the filings after they’ve gone into effect," says Goodwin.
That means if regulators find the plans overcharge customers, insurers could be forced to pay penalties or issue refunds. The state’s largest insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield says it will file plans with the state’s Department of Insurance to extend those individual policies for another year. Rates for those plans are expected to go up.