State employees take on insurance giant

April 2, 2009 3:29:18 PM PDT
The battle over the cost of the North Carolina state health care plan has taken to the airwaves.New radio spots pit the State Employees Association against insurance giant Blue Cross Blue Shield. The association argues the plan costs too much and says the non-profit insurance company is making a profit.

700,000 state employees and retirees utilize the plan which will cost the state about $660 million in the next budget cycle. SEANC Executive Director Dana Cope says co-pays and deductibles will run $600 a year per person.

"This is just immoral and gross," she said.

Representative Hugh Holliman claims those 8 percent premiums are still less than the industry average.

"Health care's going up every year. We hate to say that," he offered.

But Cole says the lackadaisical attitude from lawmakers stems from their political lovefest with Blue Cross. SEANC wants more oversight and insight into the company's finances.

Blue Cross's CEO wants the finger-pointing to stop.

"We don't set the plan's budget, make financial projections, or perform actuarial services for the state health plan. We administer the plan based on the state's direction," said Bob Greczyn.


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