State Health Plan Changes

Important Information Regarding 2018 Benefit Changes and Program Updates

(Active Members and Non-Medicare Retirees)

The State Health Plan’s Board of Trustees under leadership of State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, recently approved changes to the State Health Plan. The benefit changes are effective for the benefit plan year beginning January 1, 2018. The benefit changes are designed to provide Plan members with stability and predictability in their benefits and begin the task of lowering the state’s $42 billion in unfunded liabilities for retiree health benefits.

 There are also updates for separate programs that take effect immediately. No decisions were made regarding plan options for Medicare retirees. Any decisions regarding those options will not be made until later this summer to coincide with UnitedHealthcare’s rate renewal.

The Board of Trustees approved the following benefit changes effective January 1, 2018:

  • Eliminating the Consumer-Directed Health Plan (CDHP) beginning in 2018
    • Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA) will not rollover for use in 2018. The HRA funds will only be available for claims incurred in 2017 and must be submitted for processing before March 31, 2018.
  • Setting employee-only base premiums for the 70/30 Plan at $25 per month, and for the 80/20 Plan at $50 per month, after the Tobacco Attestation credit has applied.
  • Freezing dependent health care premiums through 2021
    • Premiums for Employee + Family remain at the 2017 cost.
    • Premiums for Employee + Spouse increase 6.96%, and then freeze through 2021.
    • Premiums for Employee + Child(ren) increase 6.96%, and then freeze through 2021.
  • Reducing the wellness premium credit activities, and only keeping the Tobacco Attestation activity
    • Tobacco Attestation will result in a $60 reduction in monthly premiums.
    • The Health Risk Assesment (HRA) and Primary Care Provider (PCP) credit has been eliminated for 2018.
  • For the 80/20 and 70/30 plans, no plan design changes have been proposed to date (co-pays, deductibles, etc.).

Program Updates

The Plan is constantly evaluating and realigning programs to provide the best return on investment as well as reduce complexities and build value for all health plan members. The following changes were also recently announced:
Discontinuing the Stork Rewards maternity incentive program
  • No new members may enroll. Those members who enrolled by March 31, 2017, and who meet the criteria to receive the incentive will be able to do so. However, the Plan will continue to offer maternity coaching available through NC HealthSmart.
 Discontinuing to subsidize the cost of the Diabetes Prevention Program and Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less (ESMMWL) for its members
  • Plan members will continue to have lifestyle coaching available through the population health management program, NC HealthSmart. Members may also visit a local in-network dietitian to discuss their risk for diabetes or receive assistance with weight management, as allowed under their benefit plan.

To access State Health Plan Board of Trustee meeting materials, click here. Finally, as a reminder, ​​health plan changes follow the calendar year, ​as opposed to the academic year.