by: Tina Terry Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Thousands of North Carolina families who lost their health insurance plans because of the affordable health care act are one step closer to regaining them.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina announced it will start offering those polices again.
Ellison Clary, a spokesman for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, said his company is ready to reinstate thousands of policies that failed to meet the minimum requirements of the Affordable Care Act.
"The president has said he wishes we could do it and so we're glad to do it," he said.
Those who choose to go back to their old polices will be able to keep them for a year.
After that, they will have to either pick another plan with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, or get a plan under the Affordable Care Act.
Those who pick their old polices could also pay 16-22 percent more than before.
"That reflects cost of health care, which continues to rise," Clary said.
Clary said the hike also reflects some taxes and fees associated with the Affordable Care Act.
Some consumers said the increase is too much.
"It's outrageous to go up that much. Two to 3 percent I can understand, but not that," said consumer Suzanne Jones.
Some said the new rates will be too high for many families to afford.
"The way the economy is people on fixed incomes, some on unemployment,” said consumer Laverne Martinez.
Even with the hike, Clary said the plans could still be a good fit for thousands of families.
"A little bit more, but in some cases not as much as it would have cost them to go on the ACA," he said.
Those rate increases have to be approved by the North Carolina Department of Insurance before they go into effect.
BCBS said it will send renewal notices to eligible customers by Dec. 1.
See more on the Affordable Care Act by clicking here.