02/02/14 — Who is affected?

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Who is affected?

By From staff reports
Published in News on February 2, 2014 1:50 AM

As officials with Wayne Memorial Hospital and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina continue to discuss their contract dispute, a number of county residents are finding themselves wondering what the future might hold.

All total, according to Blue Cross, there are about 350 employer groups and 23,000 individual members in Wayne County.

Of those, the biggest contributor is the 11,266 people covered by the State Health Plan -- 2,205 of them school system employees, plus their dependents. Another large contributor is Wayne County, which has 693 employees on the county health plan, covering approximately 1,000 people.

However, neither the State Health Plan or the county's health plan are actually Blue Cross plans. They are funded by the state and county, respectively, and administered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

For the State Health Plan, which has contracted with BCBS for 36 of the 41 years of the State Health Plan, the current contract runs until Dec. 31, 2016.

For the county, though, which has been with Blue Cross for the last 20 years, the contract is up for renewal on July 1, 2014, and according to county Human Resources Director Sue Guy, both cost and coverage is a factor in determining which company will administer the plan.

However, she said it is still too early to determine what kind of impact Blue Cross' decision to cancel the contract and push Wayne Memorial out of network will have on those negotiations later this year.