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Michelle Payne You are absolutely right: Regardless of one’s thoughts on health care costs, etc., Folwell’s rates would either force NC’s hospitals to close for bankruptcy or allow themselves to be acquired by bigger health systems to survive. There would be no community hospitals – they could not survive on the proposed rates. Laura Laxton In some areas, like around here, there are no community hospitals. We are all Atrium or Novant, including most of the everyday providers. And they have not signed on with the state so that leaves us up the proverbial creek. My husband has COPD/Asthma and we HAVE to see a pulmonologist quite often as well as deal with hospitalizations. The last week long hospital visit totaled $61,000. I don’t have that just lying around but he had to be able to breath, you know? Without insurance covering most of this, what’s my choice – just leave him to deal with it because there are no providers close by. Oh, wait – you can’t breathe, but the hospital isn’t on our list so sucks to be you. This is beyond ridiculous. Also, as a pharmacist, I have helped retirees look at the plans offered by the state and it’s not looking promising for my husband later in life when he retires. If you are working now for benefits later, you may want to reconsider! Candace Barefoot Allen it won’t matter for employees hired after Jan 1 2020, the GA did away with the retirement health insurance for them. I work with dps and live in your neck of the woods where vidant is King. It’s very concerning to say the least. We are not in an area where it is easy to simply shop around for care. Nor will our vidant physicians refer to just any doctor. This is an awful situation. Awful to have those who serve the public in ENC in such a predicament. The “Clear Pricing Project” actually came up at my last doctor’s visit. Nearly all of the doctors offices in my area are Atrium Health. I don’t know what we will do if they become out of network doctors offices. Also, in response to the comment about shopping around for the cost of a medical test or procedure…it is nearly impossible to find out in advance what you will be charged even if you directly ask. I have tried multiple times to find out what I would be (by more than one hospital) so that I could be prepared to pay my 20%, but was unable to find out until I received the bill.