Get the State Health Plan out of the General Assembly? Yes. Move it to the Department of Insurance? Not so much.
The Health Access Coalition, the State Employee’s Association of North Carolina, and every auditor on earth think the State Health Plan should be moved out of the General Assembly. Currently, a joint legislative committee oversees the State Health Plan, which is partly why the plan is a wreck.
Now comes Rep. Nelson Dollar and a few other legislators who want to transfer control of the SHP to the Department of Insurance.
Wresting SHP oversight from lawmakers is an admirable goal, but DOI is a bad fit. DOI needs more regulatory tools to ensure that state employees have a strong and solvent insurance plan, but DOI can’t run the SHP and provide independent oversight.
Instead, the governor should oversee the plan with a strong board appointed by various stakeholders. Alternatively, an independent board could run the plan in a semi-public agency like the North Carolina High Risk Pool operates.
Perhaps the Blue Ribbon Task Force should decide the best place to house the SHP. That body will begin meeting again at the conclusion of the current legislative session.
Everyone knows that the plan should move, but it shouldn’t move to DOI.