WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – North Carolina’s State Treasurer Dale Folwell was in Wilmington on Tuesday afternoon, stopping by UNCW to present a check to the College of Health and Human services from unclaimed funds.
His office oversees programs for state employees including their health insurance and retirement plans. During his visit, Folwell told WECT that inflation is having on impact on state employees like everyone else and his office is working to protect their funds.
“There’s a lot going on in our world right now,” Folwell says. “But the bottom line is, is that people are in the situation right now where they can’t see themselves out of their poverty. And it’s related not only to inflation, but healthcare billing.”
Inflation in the U.S. has peaked at a 40 year high, driving prices of everything up including healthcare. Folwell and his office have been long-time advocates for lower healthcare costs, and he says that maximizing state employees benefits remains a top priority.
“Until the hospitals come to the table and work with us to actually lower health care cost, until that happens, we’re not going to be able to make a substantial dent in health care cost,” he says.
Recently, Folwell’s office voiced their support for a new medical de-weaponization bill filed in the General Assembly. It prevents healthcare organizations from charging individuals unfair interest rates, and makes sure that they collect medical debts fairly.
“Our ultimate goal is to get rid of secret contracts in health care, push the power to the consumer,” Folwell said. “And so the consumer can figure out the quality and the price of what they’re getting.”
His office provides coverage to almost 750,000 state employees through healthcare plans, and nearly 350,000 receive benefits rom the retirement plans.
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