(Raleigh, N.C.) – State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA announced today that he has recommended to the State Health Plan Board of Trustees that all premiums under the State Health Plan be frozen for 2019.
The State Health Plan, a division of the N.C. Department of State Treasurer, provides health care coverage to more than 720,000 teachers, current and former lawmakers, state university and community college personnel and their dependents, including non-Medicare and Medicare retirees.
“I've been able to make this recommendation because we've been using our 'largeness' to hold down medical and pharmacy costs for teachers, law enforcement and other hard working state and local employees and retirees," said Folwell. “The freeze is both my recommendation and staff's. The final decision will ultimately be with the board."
The recommended freeze for 2019 comes at a time when the Congressional Budget Office is predicting that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, premiums will increase by as much as 15 percent next year. In addition, medical and pharmaceutical costs are expected to increase on average around 7 percent during 2019.
During 2017, the state spent more than $3.2 billion to provide medical and pharmaceutical benefits to eligible state and local public employees. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina administers the plan, but claims are paid directly by the state using taxpayer funds.