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Blue Cross Blue Shield Rates Skyrocket
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) It was a shock that came in the mailbox for thousands of Alabamians this week. Many Blue Cross Blue Shield customers received letters telling them their insurance rates are set to spike come January 1.
Blue Cross said several new mandates within the Affordable Care Act are forcing them to cover more services for more people, and someone has to foot the bill.
"Because everybody gets a policy when they apply, for everybody who has that policy the cost is going to increase," said Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama representative Michael Patterson.
Patterson said because no one can be turned down because of a pre-existing condition, everyone will split the increased cost.
Viewers on our Facebook page reported hikes in the hundreds and even thousands of dollars, with deductibles doubling and tripling.
Patterson said the number of family members receiving coverage will also make a difference. Right now, a married couple with no children might pay the same premium as a married couple with multiple children.
"Beginning 1/1/2014, you assign a portion of the premium based on how many people are in the family," Patterson said.
Many folks told us they're afraid to open the letter they've received in the mail.
"I'm trying to avoid it as long as possible because I'd like to keep what I have," said Tony Oberkirch, "but I don't know if that's going to be possible."
In 64 of Alabama's 67 counties, Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only provider participating in the individual insurance marketplace.