NC Will Diversify Health Insurance Contracts Beyond Blue Cross

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The health insurance plan for North Carolina state employees, teachers, retirees and their family members has decided to diversify its outside contracts, which state officials say will save more than $20 million annually.

The State Treasurer's Office announced this week the State Health Plan's trustee board approved awarding some of the contracts to someone other than Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina -- the state's dominant health insurer.

Blue Cross won the contract to keep processing claims and to offer a provider network to health plan members. But the board awarded contracts to other firms for eligibility and enrollment services and to manage the program that offers insurance coverage for laid-off workers.

The contracts begin in July 2013 and last 3 1/2 years.

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