As North Carolina Looks For Cuts, Health Plan Needs Bandage

The health plan that covers teachers and state employees across North Carolina has been bleeding so much cash that it is set to run out early next year.

Directors of the State Health Plan have started operating under emergency measures, delaying $45 million in payments to key vendors
until after the General Assembly has a chance to fix the problem
when it reconvenes in January.

Along with an immediate $300 million cash infusion, health plan chief financial officer Mona Moon said the system will need an additional $500 million to $550 million over the next two years to keep the health plan in the black -- unless benefits are altered.

Gov.-elect Bev Perdue has been briefed on the subject and will be working on stabilizing the plan in the coming months.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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