CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board approved the health insurance plan for next fiscal year for state workers at a meeting Friday.

PEIA Director Ted Cheatham said the plan approved is basically the same proposal the board took out for public hearings in November. Most state workers and retirees will be paying the same monthly premiums next year as they are now.

The monthly prices are the same because PEIA is using the agency’s reserve fund to the keep the costs down. Cheatham said that fund is now just below $200 million. He said it won’t take long for that to disappear and after that premiums could go up double-digits beginning in 2016. Cheatham said the finance board heard those concerns from state workers in the recent public hearings.

“Everybody is concerned about the out-years and we have just got to continue to manage the plan the best we can and keep those medical inflation issues from biting us too hard,” Cheatham said.

One way to keep the costs down according to PEIA is healthier living habits for plan participants. Cheatham said he believes more state workers are thinking about those habits.

“Many of the things that we do are affected by lifestyle and we need to get people involved and start living a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “Take those little steps.”

The Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, is also having an impact on PEIA. The agency has already spent millions of dollars on its requirements. Cheatham said things like preventive care and keeping children on the health insurance plan until they are 26 are good things for consumers but they aren’t cheap.

“To be honest all of those come at a cost. PEIA has previously put about 23 million dollars into the plan to cover those additional changes from the Affordable Care Act,” according to Cheatham.

 

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Comments

  • Polly the Pundit

    It would be nice to see a comparison between what State workers pay for health insurance compared to the private sector. I think if that information came out there would be less grumbling...

  • David

    State workers, are you wondering when your next raise will be? Well, this article clues you in.
    It will be 2016 when PEIA gets an increase.

    Raises to state workers are nothing more than increases to PEIA disguised as a raise.

  • WV Worker

    PEIA is up to something. They don't do anything for anyone without a cost to the worker. Are they hoping that its mandated that certain age groups, medical conditions and income levels HAVE to go to Affordable Care Act and they won't have to pay anything. Strange they didn't care raising the prices several years in a row in the past and now lets wait and see. NO WAY. Has someone heard the word FREE for the state. Normally if they hear FREE in any statement they take it. Free costs more then people paying for it. I don't trust PEIA. They have to have cut out something not to raise premiums. How many drugs are now on the preferred list and have a monthly cost of $100.00 or more. Don't believe nothing has gone up wait until July and you go to the drug store and the clerk gives you a bill that will take half your payday or go to the doctor and have to wait for scans or x-rays to get approved or surgery take could take months to get approved. They hidden changes.

  • Aaron

    If they no they are going to incur double digit increases in 2-3 years, why hold the line now? Why not put in a modest increase and soften the blow down the road? Do the higher up's in the state know something that is not being passed along to Joe Consumer regarding national insurance?

    • John

      IT'S CALLED ELECTIONS! REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH!

    • WhgFeeling

      I have been saying the same thing for months but then again that makes sense and we all know not makes in government makes sense.

  • John

    Wow, not a 12% increase in 2014, why OBAMACARE and 2014 election. Not a 12% in 2015...,WHY OBAMACARE. But, 2016, a 24% increase. WHY? OBAMACARE!

  • D.P.

    Obamacare-THE ABSOLUTELY MOST DECEITFUL PIECE OF LEGISLATION EVER PASSED!!! Will voters who elected this CLOWN/LIAR IN CHIEF ever learn???

    If this Democratic POS Law doesn't implode, it will cause more harm than ANY legislation EVER!!! Vote Republican in 2014-otherwise, this SOCIALIST JERK that's our POTUS will cause more destruction than any President in the history of our Great Nation!!!!!

  • Steve

    Yea,,affordable health care expense,,,,,are we gonna keep putting the DEMS back in office,,,,not me,,,,,

  • Tom P.

    A 'Single Payer Plan', like those adopted by other developed countries, solves most all of our health insurance problems.

    • Kelly

      No it doesn't. It simply means rationing, a reduction in services, and reduction in medical innovation.

      Health insurance costs money, and we have an increasing nber of lazy, entitled people who refuse to take responsibility for this and do the things to allow them to afford it.

      There is a reason these other countries you love have this system. It is because they spend little on defense and put that money toward covering everyone. It's called the NATO Defense Treaty, where the US rotects everyone. Of these countries had to defend themselves, they would not have single payer.

    • Polly the Pundit

      Tom, you can't control cost(s) unless you can control all of the parts of the equation, e.g. prescription costs, provider re-imbursements, etc. Requiring everyone to have insurance won't help out until you control the other dynamics of the equation.

  • Kelly

    Children are no longer children after 19.

    Also, the money to keep the premiums is not coming from a reserve fund, it is coming taxpayers, many who are not state employees and are paying higher premiums that are not subsidized by state employees.

    Perhaps state employees should keep this in mind prior to claiming about higher premiums next year.

    • Kelly

      Sorry....meant to say complaining, not claiming.

    • lifetimehunter

      I would agree unless you are talking full time college students.

      • Kelly

        Lifetime,

        I agree. I would think that should be capped at the bachelor degree level.

    • Polly the Pundit

      Kelly, you are right - children aren't children after they turn 18 - unless it is for health insurance purposes, then it is age 26...

      But Obama was born in Hawaii - except when he declared himself a "foreign student" at Columbia...

      And he never met his uncle from Kenya who was in this country illegally - until he stayed with him for three (3) weeks when he went to Harvard...

      And the Affordable Care Act will cost less - until it costs us more...

      And we are nation building in Afghanistan - by buying $1 billion dollars worth of Soviet helicopters for the Afghan military with U.S. tax dollars...

  • Damion45

    “To be honest all of those come at a cost. PEIA has previously put about 23 million dollars into the plan to cover those additional changes from the Affordable Care Act,” according to Cheatham.

    You ain't seen nothin' yet! Affordable Care Act indeed.