RALEIGH, N.C. — Litigation challenging the North Carolina General Assembly’s decision 10 years ago to begin charging some retired state government workers and teachers a premium for health insurance is now before the state Supreme Court.
The court’s ultimate decision could affect hundreds of thousands of retirees and cost the state premium refunds and future health care expenses. Oral arguments were set for Monday.
Retired employees sued the State Health Plan in 2012, saying the state was contractually obligated to offer premium-free benefits under a plan in which they paid 20 percent of their co-insurance. A trial court agreed in 2017, but the state Court of Appeals overturned that decision, saying no such obligation existed.
The Supreme Court almost didn’t hear the case — several justices wrote they had family members who were once state workers or teachers, raising recusal questions. But the court decided in August the case would go on because of its significance.