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State Employees Health Care Plan Approved PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Friday, 20 May 2011 07:36

State employees have at least the option of no cost health insurance, that after the General Assembly wrapped up a final compromise on cost-cutting measures to North Carolina's state employee and teacher health insurance plan yesterday. The plan will retain a premium-free option for current workers for their own coverage. The agreement still will require starting Sept. 1 higher out-of-pocket co-payment and deductibles, as well as a 5.3 percent annual premium increases for dependent coverage, raising premiums for family coverage for the more generous policy to more than $650 per month. It also does away with penalties for smoking and overweight workers, who were forced into the less generous plan. The political fight already had led to one Perdue veto, Perdue had blocked the original bill from taking effect because she said it would have resulted in a pay cut by requiring premiums from roughly $8 to $22 per month. Under the agreement, only teachers, employees and retirees who want the more generous of the two policies would pay the premium of either $10 or $21.63 starting in September. The governor said Thursday she'll sign both pieces of legislation to end the impasse. The legislation, combined with a letter from the State Health Plan executive administrator, ensures that the premium-free option will remain through at least June 2012 and likely another year, bill supporters said. The pair of bills ends a month-long stalemate over whether the state would have required the 322,000 active workers to pay for the first a monthly premium regardless of which of the two policies they choose.

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