NC treasurer says health plan strong financially
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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- State employees and retirees may avoid higher insurance premiums in 2015 because North Carolina's public-employee health insurance plan is spending less on patients than expected.

State Treasurer Janet Cowell told legislative leaders Monday that the State Health Plan doesn't need $23 million already set aside for next year to help pay for claims and remain in sound financial shape. That in turn means the health plan board won't require a 2.1 percent premium increase on employees or retirees who cover dependents or who receive the most generous insurance offered.

Cowell said the plan is on pace to spend $250 less per member than budgeted. She says the $23 million could help supplement state employee and teacher pay. The legislature would have to decide to pull back plan funds.

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