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Audit calls for executive oversight of state health plan

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in Human Resources

An executive body should administer the health insurance plan that covers some 650,000 North Carolina teachers and state employees, not the legislative committee that currently oversees it, says an audit report released by State Auditor Leslie Merritt.

The report called the present set-up “inadequate and ineffective” and cited “pitfalls of separation of powers issues, and potential conflicts of interest between health care providers and legislators” in the existing system.

Thirty-five states operate their state health plans under an executive branch agency, while 10 more use boards of trustees, the audit noted.

“The lack of executive branch authority makes it unclear who is accountable for oversight of State Health Plan decision-making and operational results and allows the executive administrator to conduct daily operations without oversight …,” the report said.

Lawmakers learned in September the plan could need an infusion of $325 million by January to avoid defaulting unless changes were made.

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