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Health care costs are skyrocketing. The quality of care is uneven. Patients are both overwhelmed and underwhelmed with their health care experiences, from scheduling doctors’ appointments to accessing medical records to deciphering bills and insurance coverage — not to mention paying for it all.

It’s no wonder people are becoming increasingly dissatisfied. Consider the percentage of North Carolinians with negative opinions regarding their quality of care from 2012 to 2016:75
2012 – 27%
2014 – 33%
2016 – 41%

We also realize that everyone in the health care system, insurers included, has contributed to this frustration. We are fighting for you, and we are committed to doing our part to improve what we can. Here are ways we are working on your behalf.

Negotiating to give you the best value

We negotiate with hospitals and doctors to give you the best value for the care you need.

We’re also focused on moving from volume- to value-based care. What does that mean? We increasingly encourage care that improves patient health versus care based on the sheer number of tests and procedures performed. Learn more.

Providing tools to help you get the most for your health care dollar

Our online tools help you make informed health care decisions and save money too. Our Urgent Care Finder can help you find the urgent care facility closest to you for sprains, stitches and minor illnesses, potentially saving you the time and expense of an unnecessary ER visit. We also enable you to research and compare costs for 1,200 common, non-emergency tests and procedures. Try the tool.

If it’s prescription information you need, there’s a tool for that too. We’ve partnered with Prime Therapeutics to provide information on prescription drugs and pharmacy services. Look up drug prices and pharmacies.

Supporting any and all efforts to keep prescription drug costs in line

Prescription costs are rising at an alarming rate. Many are becoming increasingly unaffordable. We negotiate with drug companies and update our covered drug lists and pharmacy networks to help keep costs as low as possible for customers.

In addition, we support efforts to keep drug costs in line by:

  • Requiring drugmakers to explain their pricing and effectiveness and make this information widely available to the public.
  • Encouraging a speedier approval process for generic drugs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the federal agency responsible for reviewing and approving generic drugs, has a backlog of applications for new drugs. We believe a speedier review and approval process would promote greater competition, additional consumer choice and more affordable medications.
  • Disabling drugmakers’ ability to extend patents by reformulating drugs in ways that have little or no impact in improving patient health. These tactics offer limited value to patients but can enable drugmakers to exclude competition and charge high prices.76, 77, 78

Investing in our communities

Research shows that good health isn’t just about access to quality care. Eighty percent of what shapes our health includes factors like our living conditions, environments and community support and resources.79

Blue Cross NC invests in organizations and programs that promote healthier living in all 100 North Carolina counties. That includes everything from expanding access to healthy food through food banks and community gardens to training the next generation of health care professionals through nurse and physician assistant programs. Learn more.

Advocating for you during health care reform

Change is coming again to health care. While the future of health care reform is uncertain, it won’t happen overnight. We support the smoothest transition possible to a better health care system, without jeopardizing access to health insurance and care.

We are constantly working with local and national leaders to help build a bridge to a better health system for North Carolinians. Our focus is making sure our customers have access to quality health care while protecting their financial well-being.