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NC retiree health insurance case left unsettled by top court

North Carolina Judicial Branch

A legal fight over whether retired government workers were wronged when North Carolina stopped offering them a more generous level of premium-free health insurance is still unsettled despite a state Supreme Court ruling. A majority of justices agreed Friday that former state employees and teachers had a “constitutionally protected vested right” to keep a specific government insurance offering in which the retirees paid no premium. But the court said a trial judge now must weigh whether that right has been impaired to the point that monetary damages are necessary. The case involves more than 200,000 retirees. Friday's decision also overturned a Court of Appeals ruling favoring the state.