NC appeals court sides with state retirees

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court says former state Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake and other retired state employees can continue their legal fight over health insurance coverage.

A three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a lower court was right to reject a bid by state officials to scrap the lawsuit.

Lake and two dozen other retired state employees sued in 2012. They say the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees stopped offering a 90/10 health plan in 2009 and an 80/20 health plan in 2011.

The appeals panel ruled the retirees have a case that should be decided on whether ending the health insurance options affecting nearly 190,000 people violated a valid contract between them and the state.

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