CHARLESTON, W.Va. — For the first time, state employees are being given the option to call in to a state Public Employees Insurance Agency public hearing.

The hearing is set for 6 p.m. Monday.

Employees who wish to take part in the hearing are told to call (304)-410-0513 and enter the code 987342.

PEIA Director Ted Cheatham said it’s a chance to gather more pubic input from counties they don’t normally travel to.

“We never go to lots of parts of the state. We don’t go to Parkersburg, we don’t go down to Princeton and Bluefield or Pocahontas County. We thought this is a great chance maybe to let those people call in and get their opinions heard,” he said.

The call-in option is being offered due to fewer in-person public hearings. PEIA is hosting four in-person hearings this month rather than six.

Cheatham said the phone-in hearings are set up much like a regular meeting.

“Just like a normal public hearing, I’ll cover what’s going on with the plan changes and then they’re going to be allowed to raise their hand and I can unmute them to let them say their piece based on who wants to talk,” he said. “All the board members will be on the call listening as well.”

The agency is considering increased premiums and restrictions on prescriptions.

Under the proposal, state employees would receive a premium increase of .5 percent. Retirees and non-state employees on PEIA would receive a 2 percent rate increase. Another change would be to go to a 30 percent payment on preferred brand prescriptions, rather than a $25 or $30 co-pay.

To view the full list of November public hearings, CLICK HERE.

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