Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Beverly Perdue signed into law the Legislature's $675 million-plus bailout of the state employee health insurance plan.
Perdue said Thursday the deal is a necessary short-term step to continue paying health care bills for 667,000 state employees, retirees, teachers and their dependents.
"This cannot be permanent policy," Perdue said in a statement. "The General Assembly must continue working on a long-term solution."
The compromise passed by lawmakers Wednesday will raise deductibles and most copays, increase premiums for dependent care coverage by 8.9 percent annually, and cuts benefits for people who smoke or are obese. Employees continue to pay no premium for their own coverage.
The State Employees Association of North Carolina opposed the final plan because it said it would cost workers hundreds of dollars of additional out-of-pocket costs.