DPS Decides to Use Other Means
RALEIGH- State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, and the State Health Plan announced today that they are no longer seeking a direct testing solution with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) regarding testing of corrections officers and other employees at the state’s correctional institutions over the next few weeks.
Announced on April 22, the Plan had sought to provide direct testing at DPS facilities after Treasurer Folwell had secured more than 20,000 COVID-19 tests. However, logistical and personnel concerns from DPS will prevent direct testing. Therefore, Treasurer Folwell has told Mako Medical, and any other test providers that were going to provide tests, they can release the tests designated to support the program.
“We’re disappointed that we could not work out the details on how to go directly to the facilities outside of the fence to test,” said Treasurer Folwell. “However, we fully understand the dilemma of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice.”
The vast majority of DPS employees are members of the Plan. Last month, the Plan announced that it is waiving the cost of treatment for members diagnosed with COVID-19, including associated deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. The Plan previously announced that it was also covering the cost associated with the testing of COVID-19.
The member cost-share waiver for COVID-19 related treatments is effective immediately through June 1, 2020, at which time the Plan will continue to re-evaluate this and other measures. The Plan is taking this action to help ensure that members receive the COVID-19 testing and treatment they need when they need it.
“Unlike other state agencies, DPS has unique safety and operational hurdles that could not be overcome by the State Health Plan’s desire to directly test these state employees,” added Treasurer Folwell. “We know that the leadership at ACJJ wants to act as quickly as possible and their concern for the welfare of their employees is tantamount. In fact, ACJJ has recently procured, paid for and administered tests at one of its 54 facilities.”
State Health Plan Executive Director Dee Jones added that the Plan is ready to assist when a viable testing method that meets DPS’s requirements is available. However, she highly encouraged any State Health Plan member who is exhibiting symptoms to see their Primary Care Physician.
The State Health Plan, a division of the Department of State Treasurer, provides health care coverage to more than 727,000 teachers, state employees, retirees, current and former lawmakers, state university and community college personnel, and their dependents.