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Insurers extend time to pay for NC health policies

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The two health insurance companies selling policies on the federal marketplace for North Carolina consumers are extending payment deadlines on plans taking effect this month.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said it's postponing a deadline Friday to pay for policies that took effect Jan. 1. Blue Cross says it's giving customers until Jan. 24. Coventry Health said its customers will have until Jan. 17.

Blue Cross spokesman Lew Borman said it's allowing the extra time because of consumer confusion involving policies sold on the marketplace created under the federal health insurance overhaul law. North Carolina declined to create a state-run exchange in favor of one run by the federal government.

Spokesmen for both companies refused to say how many policies they had sold on the health exchange.