WJTV News Channel 12 - RALEIGH: Some state retirees seeing health care billing issues

Some state retirees seeing health care billing issues

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Some retired state employees in North Carolina are having trouble paying bills after more than the usual amount of money for health care premiums is being taken out of their retirement checks, WNCN has learned.

In North Carolina, the average government retiree grosses about $24,000 a year for a pension. An average monthly check comes to about $1,600 after taxes.

Some retirees are seeing a large amount of that money disappearing because they are paying more than they are supposed to for health care.

Ed Regan with the North Carolina Retired Government Employees Association said some members have been double billed and in a few cases tripled billed.

For those on fixed incomes, losing a large chunk of money like that can be create a financial crisis.

"If its happened to you, it could be a major problem," Regan said.

The treasurer's offices admits the problem is originating with outside vendors who handle the billing and premium collections.

This isn't  the first time the NC health car plan has had issues with its vendors and billing.

In December, computer errors resulted in not enough money being deducted for health premiums for some of the states' 120,000 retired government employees.

"About 1,400 people didn't have the right amount deducted or didn't have anything deducted," Regan said.

Now, the agency is trying  to address the problem of too much money being taken from their accounts.

The office of North Carolina State Treasurer Janet Cowell said it has no estimate on how many people are affected by the errors and is trying to figure out how many of the 129,000 retired state workers are being over billed.

The treasurer's office also says it is working with vendors to correct the errors but has no idea how long it will take.  

Meanwhile, the North Carolina Health Plan said health coverage for retirees will not be affected by the billing issues.  

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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