BCBS of North Carolina CEO: Pandemic costs will be 'north of $600M'

The COVID-19 pandemic will cost Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina more than it expected, the health insurer's new CEO Tunde Sotunde, MD, told The News & Observer

Dr. Sotunde predicts the health insurer will shoulder "north of $600 million" in COVID-19-related costs, based on modeling that accounts for a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. 

More than half of the costs are related to steps BCBS of North Carolina took to eliminate member cost-sharing for COVID-19 screening, testing and treatment. Other costs included expanded telehealth services, grace periods for premium payments and accelerated claim payments.

Dr. Sotunde said BCBS of North Carolina is in a position to weather the costs, but it's unclear if they will lead to premium increases next year.

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