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State employees will have new health insurance coverage in 2025

Health insurance
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For decades, Blue Cross of North Carolina has been the insurance provider for state employees. State Treasurer Dale Folwell says that will change in two years when Aetna replaces Blue Cross NC.

The new contract with Aetna will run through 2027, with an option to renew. Folwell, who has made reducing insurance costs one of his signature efforts, says the deal could bring $140 million in savings.

Aetna and Blue Cross NC were two of the three companies bidding for the contract. The third was UMR, the state said.

The state said that some 600 Aetna employees have already been assigned to work on the transition.

The state’s health plan covers 740,000 people, or more than 7% of North Carolina’s total residents. Those on the plan include state employees, teachers, university and community college workers, some law enforcement officers and their dependents.

Blue Cross NC sent the below statement to WFAE:

It is an honor for Blue Cross NC to serve North Carolina’s teachers, state employees, and their families. We are deeply disappointed by the State Health Plan’s decision last month. This is a consequential decision that will impact more than 580,000 State Health Plan members and threatens North Carolina jobs. Blue Cross NC is pursuing a formal appeal and seeking more information through a public records request to ensure the best outcome for North Carolina and all State Health Plan members.

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Sarah Delia covers criminal justice and the arts for WFAE. Sarah joined the WFAE news team in 2014. An Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist, Sarah has lived and told stories from Maine, New York, Indiana, Alabama, Virginia and North Carolina. Sarah received her B.A. in English and Art history from James Madison University, where she began her broadcast career at college radio station WXJM. Sarah has interned and worked at NPR in Washington DC, interned and freelanced for WNYC, and attended the Salt Institute for Radio Documentary Studies.