- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will remain in place to administer the health insurance plan for several hundred thousand current and retired state employees, teachers and their dependents until at least 2021.

The State Health Plan’s trustee board voted Tuesday to award again a third-party administrator contract to Blue Cross, the state’s dominant health insurer. Three other companies bid for the contract.

Blue Cross holds the current contract and gets paid more than $80 million in administrative fees annually to negotiate coverage for health plan members and process claims among other duties. The new contract begins in early 2019 and expands responsibilities.

State Treasurer Dale Folwell’s office includes the State Health Plan. He considers the new contract a “reset” to focus on greater transparency and finding savings.

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