State lawmakers respond to individual health care benefit ques - WRBL

WNCN Investigates

State lawmakers respond to individual health care benefit questions

Posted:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

NBC-17 political reporter Kim Genardo asked the following questions to all 170 members of the General Assembly:

  • Do you accept the individual health care benefit you are entitled to as a state representative?
  • Do you have other health insurance through a private employer, or any additional health insurance coverage?
  • If you have other health insurance coverage, would you be willing to opt out of the state health plan at a savings of slightly more than $4,900 to state taxpayers? Why or why not?

Only 38 lawmakers responded, and mostly those who opt out or only have health insurance through the state.

These are their responses:

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger
However, Senator Berger gave me permission to respond on his behalf. The answer is yes to the first question and no to the second. The third is n/a.

Thanks!
Amy Auth
Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications & Operations

Senator Ellie Kinnaird
Kim – I was already a state employee before I was elected, so have the State Health Plan. Ellie Kinnaird

Senator Neal Hunt
Sorry I have been scrambling!

Senator Gladys Robinson
Kim,

I need more details; however, my answer is yes to all 3. However, my other insurance at work (a nonprofit) has far less benefits and is far more expensive than the state's plan. There should be some way to offer comparable plans to nonprofits at similar low costs; hopefully Health care reform will help.

Senator Robinson

Senator Eric Mansfield
Hey Kim,

I don't accept the health insurance. I pay for my health insurance through my medical practice. I have opted out last year and will do so this year. I don't think it is fair to burden the state when I have other means. I hope you are well, enjoy your reporting.

Eric L. Mansfield, MD, MPH
NC State Senate 21 (Cumberland)

 Senator Jim Davis
I do accept the health plan that is a benefit afforded to state legislators. As a small business owner I am not eligible for an alternative health insurance plan.

Jim Davis

Senator Daniel Clodfelter
Kim: Sen. Clodfelter is not a member of the State Health Plan. His insurance is through his law firm. Let me know if there is anything else.

Ted Harrison
Legislative Assistant

Senator Wes Westmoreland
-Do you accept the individual health care benefit you are entitled to as a state representative?
Yes.

-Do you have other health insurance thru a private employer, or any additional health insurance coverage?
No. I am an employer, but, like many small employers, my diverse group of employees has had too many opt-outs to be eligible for a group insurance plan. Due to the opt-outs, we were forced to drop corporate participation some years ago.

- If you have other health insurance coverage, would you be willing to opt out of the state health plan at a savings of slightly more than 49-hundred dollars to state taxpayers? Why or why not?
Yes, but- due to current law, my company cannot provide insurance for employees.

I think an easy solution would be to allow for groups through pooling through state associations, rather than strictly individual corporations. For instance in my case, the Printing Industries of the Carolinas, or local or state Chamber of Commerce- pooling the entire group, rather than only the few employees of each small companies.

Another option would be to have an agreement among regional state Insurance Commissioners to allow intra-state competition of corporate bids. As a small business, my choices are based on the percent of participation from my employees.

Regardless, we must get outside the 'box'; federal interference will only drive up costs and reduce the availability of quality care and individual costs.

Wes Westmoreland
NC Senate

Senator Richard Stevens
Kim,

I do not participate in the state health plan and have not taken this coverage since I was first elected in 2002.

I have other insurance.

Richard Stevens

Speaker Pro Tempore Dale Folwell
-Do you accept the individual health care benefit you are entitled to as a state representative?
"I pay at least $600 per month for family coverage."

-Do you have other health insurance thru a private employer, or any additional health insurance coverage?
No.

- If you have other health insurance coverage, would you be willing to opt out of the state health plan at a savings of slightly more than 49-hundred dollars to state taxpayers? Why or why not?
N/A

Speaker Thom Tillis
In response to the questions below: Speaker Tillis accepts the state health-care benefit and has no additional health insurance coverage.

Let me know if you need anything else & have a great weekend.

Regards,
Joe Nolan
Executive Assistant
Speaker Thom Tillis

 Rep. Verla Insko
-Do you accept the individual health care benefit you are entitled to as a state representative?
 YES

-Do you have other health insurance thru a private employer, or any additional health insurance coverage?
NO

- If you have other health insurance coverage, would you be willing to opt out of the state health plan at a savings of slightly more than 49-hundred dollars to state taxpayers? Why or why not?
N/A

Rep. Trudi Walend
Do you accept the individual health care benefit you are entitled to as a state representative? Yes

Do you have other health insurance thru a private employer, or any additional health insurance coverage? No

Representative Trudi Walend

Rep. Marian McLawhorn
Kim, I use the state health plan, which is the same one that I had when I was employed as a media coordinator at New Bern High School. I do not have any other kind of health coverage.

Marian McLawhorn

Rep. Ruth Samuelson
-Do you accept the individual health care benefit you are entitled to as a state representative?
Yes

-Do you have other health insurance thru a private employer, or any additional health insurance coverage?
No

Rep. Bill Faison
I will get back to you on these issues shortly.

Jeanne

Rep. Leo Daughtry
Rep. Daughtry doesn't have any health care coverage other than his General Assembly coverage.

Regards,
Margaret M. Dockery
Legislative Assistant to Rep. Leo Daughtry

Rep. Winkie Wilkins
My answers:

Question 1: Yes.

Question 2: Medicare is my secondary coverage.

Question 3: No. I serve and I serve well. I also rarely seek re-imbursement from my campaign fund. The bottom line is that, according to my own estimate, it costs me money annually to serve.

Winkie

Rep. Ray Rapp
My primary coverage is Medicare and my secondary is State Health Plan.

Sorry about the delay.

Best wishes,
Ray

 Rep. Bill Current
No, I do not accept the individual health care benefit I am entitled to as a State Representative. Yes, I have other health insurance (Medicare Supplement) which I pay personally.

Representative William A. Current, Sr.

Rep. Mark Hollo
Ms. Genardo,

I do not have the individual health care benefit through the State. I opted out. I carry coverage with my private employer.

Sincerely,
Rep. Mark Hollo

Rep. Bill Owens
Ms. Genardo,

Thank you for asking, but I do not wish to participate.

Bill Owens
Representative

Rep. Kelly Hastings
Re: State Health Plan

A. Yes

B. My wife and I are self-employed; I don't have additional health coverage. My wife and daughter are covered through a plan that we pay for in the private sector.

C. We pay for insurance for my wife and daughter with private sector earnings.

D. Serving in the General Assembly is full-time responsibility with part-time pay. We receive 29 cents per mile to drive back and forth to Raleigh and our per diem and salary are low. It is very expensive to serve in the General Assembly and I am away from my business and family a lot; however, I think it is important for the average person to be able to serve. Also, my wife and I pay a lot of taxes to the state based on private sector dollars earned.

E. I always support saving money for the taxpayers. In fact, I voted to cut spending and cut taxes.

Sincerely,
Rep. Kelly E. Hastings

Rep. Ric Killiam
Good morning Kim,

Representative Killian does not use the state health care benefit. He uses Tri-care (military), but he keeps his status eligible (in other words, he does not decline it).

Representative Killian will not be returning after November.

Regards,
Jan Copeland
Office of Rep. Ric Killian

Rep. Marvin Lucas
-Do you accept the individual health care benefit you are entitled to as a state representative?
Yes

-Do you have other health insurance thru a private employer, or any additional health insurance coverage?
Medicare

- If you have other health insurance coverage, would you be willing to opt out of the state health plan at a savings of slightly more than 49-hundred dollars to state taxpayers? Why or why not?
No; I worked thirty-four years to earn it.

Rep. Larry Pittman
Yes, I am covered by the health care plan.
No, I do not have any other health insurance.

Rep. Linda Johnson
Question:
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. I tried to opt out but was told by my insurance company that I would have to pay higher premiums to opt out.

Rep. Linda P. Johnson
District 83, Cabarrus County

 Rep. Chuck McGrady
I do have my health insurance through the State Plan. I do not have other health insurance through a private employer.

Rep. Rick Glazier
Kim--I do accept the health insurance benefit and my other employer is the State as I teach at FSU so I would still be under the state plan. I do have supplemental coverage. Rick Glazier

Rep. Justin Burr
Happy to reply, and sorry for the delay! There just don't seem to be enough hours in the day.

Yes, I receive the state health insurance.

No, I do not have any other health insurance.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

Regards,
JPB

Rep. Justin P. Burr
North Carolina House of Representatives
67th District - Stanly, Union, and Montgomery Counties

Rep. Ken Goodman
I do not accept the individual health care benefit as a state Representative

I am covered by my wife's employer which is why I don't have coverage for G A members..

I don't want to waste taxpayers money.

Ken Goodman
District 66

Rep. Angela Bryant
-
Do you accept the individual health care benefit you are entitled to as a state representative?
yes

-Do you have other health insurance thru a private employer, or any additional health insurance coverage?
No

- If you have other health insurance coverage, would you be willing to opt out of the state health plan at a savings of slightly more than 49-hundred dollars to state taxpayers? Why or why not?
N/A

Rep. Angela R. Bryant
District 7- Nash and Halifax Counties- until 1/13  

Rep. Ralph Hise
Dear Ms. Genardo,

Thank you for your message. Senator Hise asked me to respond to your inquiry.

Senator Hise participates in the state health plan as a legislator. However, as a community college instructor, he is also eligible for participation in the plan as a state employee and would receive the same benefit.

Please let me know if I may provide anything further.

Sincerely,
Shelly Carver
Legislative Assistant
Office of Senator Ralph E. Hise, Jr.

Rep. Deborah Ross
accept health insurance. I do not have other coverage.

Deborah

Rep. Tom Murry
I opt out of the State's coverage.

I have coverage through a private employer.

Tom Murry

Rep. Becky Carney

-Do you accept the individual health care benefit you are entitled to as a state representative?
Yes

-Do you have other health insurance thru a private employer, or any additional health insurance coverage?
Medicare Part A

- If you have other health insurance coverage, would you be willing to opt out of the state health plan at a savings of slightly more than 49-hundred dollars to state taxpayers? Why or why not?

Rep. Jeff Collins
Sorry, I just saw this email. As I get about 500 per day, I don't often check my External box.

I do NOT accept any of the benefits the state offers me, except for the pension plan I am forced to participate in. I do the deferred comp salary deferral as well. I have health insurance through my private sector business.

Rep. Jeff Collins

 

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