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A check from Blue Cross??

In the mailbox today I found an envelope from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. In red letters across the front were “Open Immediately.” This was terrifying. My health insurance is the biggest item in my monthly budget, even though I have one of those high-deductibule policies. I, like most people, am accustomed only to being knocked around by health insurance companies.

But inside was a a check for more than three hundred dollars. This refund was announced back in September, but I missed that news at the time. The insurance commissioner in North Carolina, it seems, did some math and found that North Carolina Blue Cross had overcharged some of its customers by $156 million. Blue Cross agreed to refund it before the end of the year. This USAToday story explains it.

Let’s hear it for regulations on corporations and regulators who do their jobs. That’s the only thing that protects us from gouging.

The regulators must still be watching, because my premium increase for next year is only about $6 a month.

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