Thousands of state retirees to see lower insurance premiums

Thousands of North Carolina retirees on the Medicare Advantage plan will not have to pay higher premiums next year.

North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell made the announcement Wednesday during a news conference.

Folwell and the State Health Plan renegotiated a contract with UnitedHealthcare that slightly reduces premiums in 2018, affecting nearly 150,000 retirees.

Premiums will decrease from $120.65 to $120 for the base plan.

Dependent coverage will also decrease slightly from $124.80 to $124.

Folwell said rates could have spiked as much as 25 percent without the deal.

"To be able to hold those premium levels given the headwinds we were facing financially with this contract, I think was a herculean effort on behalf of the State Health Plan, UnitedHealthcare and the stakeholders," he said.

The announcement comes at a time when some people across the state are seeing their insurance rates skyrocket.

Folwell is calling on state lawmakers to support a moratorium or repeal of the Health Insurance Providers Fee (HIPF)/ACA Health Insurance Tax that significantly increases premiums for the state, companies and private insurance purchases.

A delay on the fee is set to expire in 2018.

If it is not repealed, premiums could increase by approximately 30 percent next year.

If repealed, the state would save nearly $45 million in 2018.
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