Only 5 NC Hospitals Sign On To State's New Employee Health Plan

Aug 6, 2019

Enrollment for the new health care plan for North Carolina's state employees begins in less than two months – and it appears only five hospitals have signed up as in-network providers. That’s out of nearly 120 throughout the state.

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The only hospital system in the Charlotte area to sign up at this point is Gastonia-based CaroMont Health. In the Hickory area, Catawba Valley Medical Center has signed up. Some health care providers who did not sign up have said the new rates won’t pay what it costs to provide care.

State Treasure Dale Folwell calls it a boycott by hospital systems, including Atrium Health and Novant Health, the two primary systems in Charlotte. 

"They have shown no interest," Folwell said. "... The decision has been with them for a matter of weeks whether to provide health care to people who teach, people who protect, and people who serve our citizens of our state."

Atrium, however, says it shared a proposal with state health plan officials in early June. 

The new plan sets rates based on what Medicare pays. To lure more hospitals to buy in, the treasurer recently upped reimbursement rates to an average of nearly double what Medicare provides.

The deadline expired Monday.

In a statement, Novant said the system will continue to offer the treasurer assistance to create a plan that improves health care and increases transparency.

Charlotte-based Atrium Health said it’s open to collaboration to find reasonable and cost-conscious solutions.

The new health plan begins Jan. 1.