New hires no longer promised health care at retirement

Jan 04, 2021

The coming of a new year brought an end to one of the state’s best tools for recruiting and retaining new hires.

Starting Jan. 1, 2021, newly hired state employees and teachers will no longer receive health care benefits at retirement thanks to a provision in the 2017 state budget. The change doesn’t affect current state employees hired before that date.

Several news agencies reached out to SEANC to discuss the issue.

Director of Government Relations Suzanne Beasley pointed out that the State Health Plan will not see savings from the change for 30 years. A more effective approach to saving money with the health plan is to fully implement the Clear Pricing Project, which would help rein in health care costs and provide transparency to hospital billing.

The Clear Pricing Project would save the state ten times more money in the long run and would not hurt recruiting.

“The intention was to help the unfunded liability, but there are other ways to do that now. The clear pricing project would help with that,” Beasley said in an interview with FOX 46 of Charlotte. “Right now, the state of North Carolina, is just paying a bill and they don’t have a clue how much that bill is until they get it, and then they just pay it.”

This will be one issue SEANC will address with lawmakers at the new session of the General Assembly, which begins Jan. 13.