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'I didn't do anything,' Is this BCBS check legit?

YES! The check is a rebate on the premiums you paid. 2WTK explains why you're getting it.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — You may have received a check in the mail from BlueCross BlueShield. 2WTK viewer Bobby did and sent me a picture of it and wrote:

I didn't do anything and got this check...is it legit?

Whenever you get a check out of the blue, you should always ask if it’s real!

The first thing 2WTK did was look at the check to see what information we could get off of it. There was the name BlueCross BlueShield of NC and the words ‘MLR rebate check’. No fancy magic, 2WTK Googled them both and found the BCBS explainer page about the MLR rebate.

There was also an explanation about how the rebate is due because, by law, health insurers have to spend a minimum percentage of the premium they collect from you on services and activities for members. If insurers don’t do that, they have to refund their members.

Not everyone gets a rebate and not everyone gets it the same way.
It depends on your plan.

According to the website:

If you have a premium that is less than the amount of the refund or you are no longer with BlueCross, you'll receive a check.

How do I know if I'll receive a check or a credit to my account?
If you have a premium that is less than the amount of the refund or you are no longer with Blue Cross NC, you'll receive a check in the mail. If you have a premium that is larger than your refund amount, you will receive a credit on your May 1st invoice

From the website, here are their FAQ's:

Rebate F.A.Q.

  • How large is the typical rebate?
    There is no "typical" rebate size because amounts will vary as a result of product, length of time and premiums paid.
  • Does this mean Blue Cross NC will reduce my future premiums?
    Blue Cross NC strives to offer products at a price that sufficiently covers the costs to administer and pay our members’ health care claims with a small margin to reserve for the future protection and benefit of members. We will always seek to ensure that premiums track closely to actual and anticipated medical spending trends.
  • If I am no longer with Blue Cross NC in 2020, will I still receive my rebate for the year I was covered?
    Yes. Even subscribers who ended their Blue Cross NC coverage can receive rebates if they were covered for any portion of 2019. 
  • What if I changed Blue Cross NC health plans during the rebate year?
    Rebates can vary depending on how much of the year you were covered by a rebate-eligible plan.
  • Since I received a rebate this year, am I likely to receive one next year?
    MLR rebates are calculated based on a complex set of costs and fees paid that change every year. Receiving a rebate this year does not increase your chances for future rebates.
  • Do subscribers over the age of 65 get a rebate?
    Medicare has different MLR filing processes. Medicare Supplement members do receive rebates when we don't meet MLR targets. Medicare Advantage and PDP do not receive rebates directly. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services receive that rebate, if applicable.