North Carolina, Tennessee Address Children's Health Coverage

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The following summarizes recent newspaper articles related to children's health insurance coverage in North Carolina and Tennessee.

  • North Carolina: North Carolina could save nearly $16 million by shifting SCHIP billing services from the state's employee health plan office to the state Department of Health and Human Services, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Office of the State Auditor, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. The savings would allow the state to enroll an additional 10,000 children in the program, according to the News & Observer. The state employee health plan office processes medical claims through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina for $4.88 per claim. However, DHSS uses Electronic Data Systems to process Medicaid claims at 41 cents each. The switch could save $8.4 million annually in processing medical claims, which would allow the state to extend health insurance coverage to an additional 5,200 children. In addition, if DHHS processed SCHIP claims for prescription drugs and medical equipment through Medco Health Solutions, the department could save nearly $7.5 million in added drug rebates, which would allow the program to add 4,500 more children to the program. The report recommends the state health plan office pursue legislation that would turn over SCHIP's billing services to the DHHS. If DHHS took control of SCHIP billing, the program also would receive a one-time payment of $3.5 million to hold in reserve in case of higher-than-expected monthly payments (Bonner, Raleigh News & Observer, 7/25).
  • Tennessee: Tennessee health officials will distribute one million applications for its CoverKids program at the start of the school year in an effort to "reverse a slow sign-up rate," the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. The program provides health insurance
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