Richard Craver of the Winston-Salem Journal reports on the revised Obamacare rate hike request from Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.C.:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.C. plans to lower its premium rate hike request for 2018 individual Affordable Care Act insurance plans from 22.9 percent to 14.1 percent, the insurer said Wednesday.

Blue Cross has filed an adjustment to the plan it submitted in May to the N.C. Insurance Department, which can approve, reject or reduce the rate increase. The department typically has 90 days to review a rate request.

There will be a shorter open enrollment period for 2018 between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15.

By comparison, Blue Cross initially sought an 18.8 percent premium hike for 2017, but wound up announcing a 24.3 percent increase after competitors exited the individual marketplace.

Our Mitch Kokai suggests next steps in reforming Obamacare.
Kokai said congressional health-care policymakers “should devote more attention to ideas that are likely to play a role in helping to reduce costs.”

“This means bringing market forces into the process. It means having patients and doctors playing a larger role in health care decisions, not just government bureaucrats and insurance companies.”

Read the entire story here.