(Raleigh, N.C.) — Highlighting Aetna’s footprint of nearly 125 years of operations in North Carolina, about 600 state-based employees and a comprehensive, expanding network of providers, Jim Bostian assured the State Health Plan Board of Trustees work is well under way for the company to achieve a smooth transition to its role as the Plan’s Third-Party Administrator starting Jan. 1, 2025.
“Our goal primarily is to deliver on our promise to delight your members with better service, better cost control and a better overall experience,” Bostian, Aetna market president, North Carolina, said yesterday.
“I’ve seen firsthand the commitment our state employees make and the value that they deliver to each of us every day,” Bostian said. “I deeply understand the weight and the importance of the responsibility that my team and I have to provide our state employees and their families with service excellence that they truly deserve.”
He said he wanted “to convey to you that, No. 1, I know what it means to be a North Carolinian.” A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, he was born and raised in his parents’ lifelong hometown of Salisbury and his wife is from Asheville. His late father was a Duke graduate and football player who competed in the 1958 Orange Bowl and later served as an administrator in the state community college system.
The four key members of “the highly talented and dedicated” local leadership team overseeing the transition with him are all based in North Carolina’s Cary headquarters and have over 90 years of combined industry experience including 41 with Aetna, he said.
Bostian told Plan trustees that providing a comprehensive provider network “is clearly critically important,” adding, “Having run network management teams for over half of my career, I will challenge you to find anyone who understands this better than I do, especially here in North Carolina.” Aetna will use its network expertise to assist the Plan to develop new strategies and new innovations to control costs, improve quality and drive transparency.
Aetna confirmed that 98% of 2021 Plan claims paid went to providers who are in the Aetna network, Bostian said, and 99% of total claims dollars went to providers in Aetna’s network. Nonetheless, Aetna remains “absolutely committed to enhancing our network, continuing to add providers on an ongoing basis, which is our standard practice.”
Bostian said the Plan does not anticipate changes for 2025, so Aetna will provide the same benefits that are currently offered. But there will be new features, including a concierge customer service team meeting customer need with “white glove service.” That team has a track record of resolving 99% of member questions on the first call.
“I want to thank Mr. Bostian for speaking to the Board today,” Treasurer Folwell said. “We’re excited that Aetna will be the new TPA two years from now in 2025.We expect great progress on the commitments we heard today. There’s no room for error.”
The State Health Plan, a division of the Department of State Treasurer, provides health care coverage to nearly 740,000 teachers, state employees, retirees, current and former lawmakers, state university and community college personnel, and their dependents.