; BCBSNC Urges Consumers To Learn Why Health Insurance Premiums Keep Rising
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Press Release

BCBSNC Urges Consumers To Learn Why Health Insurance Premiums Keep Rising

Award-winning campaign demonstrates key drivers behind runaway health care costs

February 25, 2013

CHAPEL HILL – Over the past decade, health insurance premiums have risen three times faster than the average U.S. salary.[1] While most North Carolinians see their medical expenses and insurance premiums increase each year, many do not understand why it happens.

On Feb. 25, the next chapter of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina’s (BCBSNC) Let’s Talk Cost campaign sheds new light on the unknown, overlooked and misunderstood drivers behind skyrocketing medical costs. The effort will educate North Carolinians on how these causes contribute to increasing health insurance premiums.

“The unsustainable cost of health care is one of the most serious threats to our state and national economy, and it’s a crisis that affects us all,” said Brad Wilson, BCBSNC president and CEO. “There are no scapegoats to blame because there are many reasons why costs continue to rise. We are pulling the curtain to reveal why medical costs are increasing, what BCBSNC is doing to fight it and what consumers can do too.”

The campaign focuses on several core reasons behind rising medical costs, including:

  • Waste – Our medical system spends one out of every three dollars each year on unnecessary things like duplicate tests and medical errors.[2]
  • Hidden costs – More than 60 percent of Americans don’t know how much a treatment or procedure costs until they get the bill.[3]
  • New drugs and technology – Americans pay twice as much as patients in other industrialized countries for prescription drugs.[4]
  • Personal choices – With the money spent on treating chronic conditions largely caused by unhealthy habits, we could nearly eliminate the 2011 federal deficit.[5] [6]
  • The Affordable Care Act – Health care reform provides many new benefits, but these benefits come at a cost, including the introduction of eight new taxes.

BCBSNC’s Let’s Talk Cost campaign launched in 2011 to initiate a constructive statewide conversation about medical costs and to share solutions for this complex issue. This is the third year of the campaign.

To see what causes rising premiums and how BCBSNC is fighting this issue on behalf of its customers and all North Carolinians, visit www.LetsTalkCost.com  .

North Carolinians can join the Let’s Talk Cost discussion on BCBSNC’s Facebook  page and on Twitter by following @BCBSNC   and by using the hashtag #letstalkcost.

About BCBSNC
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.6 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 78 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com  .

[1] The Institute of Medicine  , 2012.
[2] The Institute of Medicine  , 2012.
[3] The Institute of Medicine    , 2012.
[4] CBS News  , 2010.
[5] Milken Institute    , 2007.
[6] Congressional Budget Office    , 2011.



 

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.