The takeover by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina of Durham-based Caring Program for Children concerns health-care advocates who fear loss of financial support for its program to insure children of middle-class families.
Rising costs of HMOs make it difficult for a number of small businesses to offer health insurance plans to their employees. Options in dealing with rising costs include joining an alliance, such as Caroliance, and working with a benefits consultant to get the best deal possible.
Many small businesses are unable to offer employees health insurance. Caroliance, a health insurance purchasing co-op, originated by the state in 1991, meets this need by linking businesses with insurance carriers.
Group-insurance costs have skyrocketed since the 60s, and employers are looking for ways to keep employees healthy over the long term and keep treatment costs low. Businesses are pursuing various measures to combat rising health insurance costs.
With the cost of health care on the rise, many large and small companies in the state are focusing on wellness and prevention programs. This approach not only helps keep health costs down, but also increases worker productivity.
Employers having difficulty deciding on a health care plan will have even more choices in the years ahead, as the state is glutted with managed care companies. In 1996, 22 are in operation, with 14 others planning entry applications.
Fourteen percent of the state's population, or 950,000 people, were without full-year health insurance coverage in 1993. Of those covered, 71 percent had private health insurance and 28 percent government health insurance.
The North Carolina League of Municipalities created the Risk Management Services (RMS) program as a health care option for cities and towns. The program's success allowed it to roll back and/or maintain rates and to return $2 million to cities and towns