N.D. Blues to increase premiums 2.4% to 16.9% for 30,000 membersBlue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota announced Thursday that it is increasing premiums for almost 30,000 members effective May 1.
By: Patrick Springer, The Forum
FARGO –FARGO – Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota announced today that it is increasing premiums for almost 30,000 members effective May 1.
The annual rate increases, which range from 2.4 percent to 16.9 percent, depend upon when the member first purchased coverage and whether that was before or after a health reform provision took effect.
The increases announced today, which were approved by state insurance regulators, do not include employer groups.
Costs to cover the individual members have exceeded premiums, and the loss totaled $20.6 million over the past 29 months, with $12 million of those losses in the past 12 months.
“The cost of insurance reflects the cost of claims, and we process those claims more efficiently than most other insurance companies,” Paul von Ebers, the Blues’ president and CEO said in a statement.
“The reality is that all our members are using more costly medical services, more often, so the cost for premiums is going up,” he added. “We know our current system, with this rate of medical inflation, is simply unsustainable.”
The annual medical inflation rate over the past decade has averaged 8 percent for the insurer. In partnership with major provider groups, the North Dakota Blues are trying to reduce that average to 6.5 percent in three years.
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.