135-48.8. Statements of public interest.

(a) The State of North Carolina deems it to be in the public interest for North Carolina firefighters, rescue squad workers, and members of the National Guard, and certain of their dependents, who are not eligible for any other type of comprehensive group health insurance or other comprehensive group health benefits, and who have been without any form of group health insurance or other comprehensive group health benefit coverage for at least six consecutive months, to be given the opportunity to participate in the benefits provided by the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees. Coverage under the Plan shall be voluntary for eligible firefighters, rescue squad workers, and members of the National Guard who elect participation in the Plan for themselves and their eligible dependents.

(b) The State of North Carolina deems it to be in the public interest for local government units to be allowed to join the State Health Plan for Teachers and State Employees and to participate in the Plan. (2008-168, s. 3(c); 2009-16, ss. 2(f), 5(h); 2009-281, s. 1; 2009-313, s. 2; 2010-194, s. 18(b); 2011-85, s. 2.6(a); 2014-75, s. 2; 2015-112, s. 1.)