This year finds three companies on the Health Insurance Marketplace in NC. BCBS of NC, Aetna/Coventry and United Healthcare. These are three major companies along with pretty equivalent plans.
BCBS of NC has discontinued open choice plans for doctors in the Triangle and in Charlotte. In their place are very focused limited network plans based around hospital networks. Blue Local in the Triangle is based on Wake Med/Duke. Blue Value in the Triangle is based around UNC/Rex/Wake Med. They have also further limited doctors included in these two networks. BCBSNC no longer offers out of area coverage in NC in these new network plans except in a case of an emergency which is also true of the Aetna/Coventry product. United is in 100 counties. United is the lowest price generally with Aetna/Coventry closely competitive. BCBS is generally much higher especially in the Triangle.
There are many other differences especially involving prescription drug coverage as well. You need to work with a qualified agent who works with all three companies to insure you truly pick the most affordable plan for your individual needs. Quotes can be done very quickly. Enrollment is easy because we take care of it. We are free to use because the price is the price no matter how you buy, so why not get the best advise you can find.
Remember coverage starts 1/1/2016. You need to enroll by December 15th to get this first start time. December 16th to Jan 15th, gets you a start date of Feb. 1st. Jan 16th to the 31st gets you a March 1,2016 start date. The marketplace closes for 2016 on January 31st, 2016.