COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - More than 250,000 public and state employees who use BlueCross BlueShield's' BlueChoice heath insurance and state insurance plans were notified their premiums were going up.
BlueChoice, however, says the exact number of their customers who are seeing increases to their premiums is as low as 16,678.
"My husband is already working a second full-time job and I occasionally tutor and pick up some extra students," said Charlotte, a public school teacher who did not want to disclose her full name. "We are looking at a three-hundred dollar per month increase in premiums for blue choice."
Complying with federal requirements has led to a cost increase with their product, said David Avant with the Public Employee Benefit Authority
"If you add preventative care, if you cover dependants longer than you were covering them before, if you lower the out of pocket maxes that people have to reach…then it will drive up cost," Avant said.
BlueChoice said in a statement "The Affordable Care Act is adding federal taxes and fees, and additional costs due to enrichment of benefits; it is one-third of what is causing this particular insurance product to increase so significantly."
With open enrollment beginning this month, charlotte says she and many of her co-workers are now in the market for a cheaper policy.
"It makes it really difficult for a growing family, especially when state employees and teachers haven't received an exorbitant amount of raises over the last few years," Charlotte said.