The state budget-making process continues to move forward as Governor Cooper released his proposed state budget this week, which included a 10% raise for teachers, raises for state employees, increased funding for K-12 education, and a $4.7B bond package for university, community college, and public school construction. The legislature is currently on their ‘spring break’ the week following Easter, holding daily sessions but not taking any votes April 5 – 8. March continued to be a busy month for legislators in North Carolina. Covid-19 was the focus for January and February, March has been the month of health care focused legislation. NCAH U continues ramping up our efforts to advance the legislative items on our agenda and we continue to seek input from all stakeholders in preparation for: SB 257 Medication Cost Transparency, to prohibit organizations from establishing or operating PBM's for health benefit plans in the State without being licensed. SB 347 Captive Insurance Amendments, this bill would amend statutes related to captive insurance HB149 Improving Health Care through Telehealth, to establish guidelines and requirements regarding the coverage of health care services delivered through telehealth for health benefit plans offered in the State SB228 Allowing Employers to Offer EPO Benefit Plans, to allow a health care provider offering an exclusive provider benefit plan In addition to these bills, this committee was able to obtain an advanced preview and draft of a bill to address Surprise Billing. This committee was able to review and provide feedback to the Senate Health Committee on language that we believe would be favorable to any member faced with a balanced bill. A full list of health care legislation we are currently watching and providing feedback on can be found here: In March the committee met with the Chairs of the Senate Health Committee, Sen. Burgin, Sen. Krawiec and Sen. Perry to give them an overview of the American Rescue Plan and how it would impact agents, brokers, employers and employees. We also met with several key executives of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of NC. Our focus was to establish where, legislatively, we are aligned on key health care issues. We had a productive discussion with their lobbyist, Chris Evans and discussed the impact of allowing carriers to offer EPO plans in the state. Lastly, the committee met with Rep. Kristin Baker (R) Dist. 82 Cabarrus to discuss the impact of telehealth legislation. Until next month! Michelle Wilson-Reynolds Chair, GAAC.