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Senators Re-Work State Health Plan

A bill that would move the oversight of the state health plan to the treasurer's office tentatively passed the Senate today.

The measure would create a panel to help oversee the state health plan under the oversight of the treasurer's office. Right now the legislature oversees the plan. The State Employees' Association of North Carolina is supportive of the measure- the group has criticized the current contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield because some of it is confidential. The bill would make future contracts open to public review. It would also require all state employees to pay premiums for the first time.

Republican Senator Tom Apodaca says that's necessary to help pay for a more than 500 million dollar hole in the plan. But a spokesman for the North Carolina Association of Educators says teachers don't like the bill because it would increase premiums and copays. He says legislators should work harder to make prospective health plan vendors negotiate so teachers don't have to pay more. 

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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