CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board has five public meetings scheduled over the next two weeks to give state workers an opportunity to comment on the proposed 2021 health insurance plan that will begin next July.
The first meeting, a telephone town hall, is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Meetings are also scheduled to be held Wednesday in Morgantown and next week in Charleston, Beckley and Martinsburg.
The plan includes no rate increases for state workers while a phase-in of premium cuts is being offered for those who get PEIA as employees of some governmental agencies, municipalities and counties.
State Administration Secretary Allan McVey, who serves as PEIA Finance Board chairman, said PEIA had a good year in 2018-19 with claims below projections and investment earnings above projections. McVey said the current plan year is also doing well in the area of claims.
McVey said the board does want to increase the premium tiers in the new plan to match the average five percent pay raise state workers received.
“So if you did get a salary increase then you’re not going to automatically move up in a higher premium tier,” McVey said.
That was a complaint last year until Gov. Jim Justice stepped in and called for the tiers to be increased.
PEIA also has the benefit of a $105 million reserve fund allocation from the legislature, backed by the Gov. Justice. It’s not known how much, if any, money will have to be taken from the fund in the next plan year.
McVey said workers attending the public hearings will also learn about a few new wellness plans.
“We have done some pilots on some wellness initiatives and that’s going to continue and we’d like to increase those as much as possible but those are going to be options on behalf of the individual,” McVey said. “If we have some good options for people to stay healthy that’s going to help them and help PEIA in claims.”
The finance board is scheduled to meet Dec. 5 to consider any changes to its proposals and vote on the plan.
The hearing schedule:
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 6 p.m. Telephone Town Hall — 304-410-0513, Conference ID: 304-410-0513
Wednesday, Nov. 13, Morgantown, The WVU Erickson Alumni Center, One Alumni Drive
Tuesday, Nov. 19, Charleston, The Culture Center, Capitol Complex, 1900 Kanawha Blvd., E.
Wednesday, Nov. 20, Beckley, Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center, 200 Armory Dr.
Thursday, Nov. 21, Martinsburg Holiday Inn, 301 Foxcroft Avenue
All on-site hearings begin at 5 p.m. with an hour long customer service, hearing registration period. Public hearings are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Written comments can be mailed to 601 57th Street, SE/ Suite 2, Charleston, WV 25304-2345 or via e-mail to: PEIAComments@wv.gov