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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.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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