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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

State Health Plan changes begin Jan. 1

It’s not too soon to start thinking about your annual opportunity to update your health insurance coverage, which occurs each October. With that in mind, here are some changes for the 2018 plan year that were recently approved by the State Health Plan’s Board of Trustees. The State Health Plan said the changes are designed to provide members with predictability in their benefits and begin the task of improving the Plan’s financial stability.

Changes are effective for the benefit plan year beginning Jan. 1, 2018, and include:

This provides an initial step toward improving the affordability of plan benefits for families. North Carolina does not subsidize dependent care coverage, resulting in 80 percent of plan members choosing individual coverage.

This change is being made to reduce complexity and provide long-term financial stability. As a result, current plan participants are encouraged to “spend down” Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) funds, as funds will not rollover for use in 2018. HRA funds will only be available for claims incurred in 2017 and submitted for processing before March 31, 2018.

Also in an effort to reduce complexity and minimize enrollment errors, only the tobacco attestation wellness credit activity will be maintained in 2018.

This aligns the state of North Carolina more closely with other, comparable states and creates a more balanced approach for spreading cost increases across the population. These rates assume completion of the tobacco attestation wellness credit activity. Non-Medicare primary retirees will not be required to complete the tobacco attestation or pay a premium for the Traditional 70/30 plan.

Visit the State Health Plan’s website at for information and updates. Information on annual enrollment will be available in a few months.