Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act began Sunday, and we learned this week that consumers are likely to find higher premiums – in some cases as high as 40 percent or more.

The Triad Business Journal's Owen Covington has been following the story and says North Carolina is seeing some of the largest increases in the country for these types of plans. He tells WFDD's Emily McCord that part of the reason is the state's largest insurers are dealing with higher than expected costs. The state's largest insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, posted its first loss last year in two decades. 

Interview Highlights: 

On how the Affordable Care Act has impacted Blue Cross Blue Shield: 

It's impacting all insurers. They found that the people that they're covering are older and sicker and more expensive to care for than they had anticipated. These are the premiums catching up to what the costs are.

On what it means for the consumer: 

For a 25 year-old man living in Guilford County making about $25K a year, last year his premiums would have been about $269. A lot of that would have been offset by tax credits, so after the credit, he would have paid $163 for his coverage. Next year, that premium is going up to $350. Now, there is a tax credit to help, but he's going to be paying about $211, so roughly $50 more a month he's going to be paying for coverage... people need to shop around to try and get coverage that's agreeable to them for an affordable price. 

On if the Affordable Care Act is working: 

I think it's still going to be a couple of years until you get that absolute picture. One thing that's happening next year is that the penalty for not having coverage is increasing. So, you're going to get some of the folks that might have held out, those young indestructibles. Hopefully some of those will come in and create a pool of folks to care for that's going to overall be a little less costly than it has been. 

The Business Report on 88.5 WFDD is a partnership with the Triad Business Journal.

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