Starting in February, all Town of Clayton employees will be covered by the State of North Carolina Health Plan. The General Assembly passed a bill this year allowing up to 10,000 local government employees across North Carolina to enroll in the State Health Plan.
Town Manager Steve Biggs told the Clayton Town Council this week a total of 8,000 employees from local governments across the state had already signed up for the plan and Clayton needed to act immediately if they wanted to take advantage.
Biggs said the state health plan would save the Town 15 to 20 percent annually while at the same time offering employees better coverage at a reduced cost.
The biggest savings will be realized by town employees who pay up to $2,000 out of pocket each year for a family plan. Those employees will now save the $2,000 cost. Biggs said it was like putting that money back in their pockets.
Biggs said the only catch was that once the Town of Clayton signed up to be a part of the State of NC Health Plan they would be in the plan forever. The Town will not be allowed to withdraw.
The town manager did not see that as being a problem, saying the State had tremendous bargaining power to get the best health rates because of the large pool of employees.
Clayton will save between $200,000 and $300,000 per year in health care premiums. The Clayton Town Council unanimously approved the switchover.