What The Health What is What The Health? Our goal is to give patients a voice. The sustainability of the North Carolina State Health Plan is at risk, and its fate depends on us. You’re paying more than you should for your health care. Health care is so expensive because the underlying system rewards monopolies and ever higher prices. The State Health Plan is forced to operate like a blank check. The Plan can’t use its own data to negotiate the best deal for you. It’s your money, but current law limits our ability to guard it. The Plan cannot be fiscally secure until it gains control over its own spending. We believe patients have a right to know what hospitals and health providers are going to charge them before they get the bill. Your State Health Plan is worth protecting. Remember that you are a valued Plan member – and your State Health Plan is a valuable benefit! NEW! Research Shows Some North Carolina Nonprofit Hospitals Billing Poor Patients Amid Failures in Charity Care The North Carolina State Health Plan and the National Academy of State Health Policy discover that some nonprofit hospitals billed nearly $150 million to disadvantaged patients instead of providing them charity care. Click to read the full report. North Carolina Nonprofit Hospitals Fail in Providing Charity Care Despite Tax Breaks The State Health Plan and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health find troubling disparities in hospitals’ commitment to the most vulnerable members of their communities. Click to read the full report. An Important Message from Your State Treasurer An Interview with SEANC Why should you care? What The Health will equip you with the knowledge you need to help drive down the cost of your health care. It’s coming out of your paycheck. Your wage increases, cost of living adjustments, tax cuts, and health care benefits are all swallowed by the rising cost of health care. “The rising cost of health care has resulted in relatively flat real wages for 30 years,” wrote researchers in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Your State Health Plan has a $32 billion unfunded liability because of rising health care costs and historic underfunding. That burden risks the affordability of health benefits for current and future members. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars if you know how to navigate the health care system. We’ve launched pages on Facebook and Twitter to give you the tools you need to protect your financial health. You can protect your own future and the future of your health care coverage. We’re going to teach you how to fight against waste, fraud, abuse — and charges that make no sense. What can you do? We’re here to help you save money, but we need your help. We want to tell State Health Plan members’ stories, teach you how to protect yourself and your loved ones, and fight for change together. Have a medical bill that seems too high or wrong? Or any itemized medical bill? Email us your story at WhatTheHealth@nctreasurer.com Guard your financial health. Use price transparency tools to find out how much a surgery or medical scan might cost. Shopping for health care can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Hospitals, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and CVS Caremark all have online tools that help you estimate how much a medical procedure will cost. Hospitals are now required to post standard charges for at least 300 shoppable services that can be planned in advance. Unfortunately, many hospitals have failed to comply with federal price transparency rules, according to multiple reports. For CVS Caremark, log into eBenefits and look for the CVS Caremark link on the left-hand menu. To estimate your out-of-pocket costs, login to Blue Cross NC, click “Estimate Treatment Costs” in the banner at the top right, then select “Find Medical Costs.” This will allow you to estimate how much you might pay for medical scans or procedures. Remember: You and taxpayers are the one paying for your health care – not Blue Cross NC. They only process your claims and provide a network of medical providers for the State Health Plan. Every dollar spent on overcharged medical bills is one that can’t be spent on schools, public safety and roads. Follow Us on Facebook Click here to join What The Health on Facebook We Want to Hear From You! Contact us with your story.