Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina acknowledges its timing on two recent mailings was unfortunate.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that customers first learned their rates will rise by an average of 11 percent next year.
Then they got a flier urging them to send an enclosed pre-printed, postage-paid note to Sen. Kay Hagan criticizing what the company says is unfair competition that would be imposed by a government-backed insurance plan. Congress is likely to consider a public option as it debates the health care overhaul.
Blue Cross spokesman Lew Borman says the timing of the mailings was unfortunate, but said it was a coincidence. He would not say how much Blue Cross paid for the Hagan mailing.