The Public Employees Insurance Agency, which manages the health plans of state workers and retirees, is dealing with the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic.
The halting of elective procedures this spring meant fewer claims were filed with PEIA, but now financial officials are assessing how many delayed medical procedures will affect the bottom line of the new fiscal year that starts July 1.
The PEIA Finance Board discussed curveballs like that during a monthly meeting Thursday that was conducted mostly by telephone.
“This has been unprecedented times,” said Jason Haught, the chief financial officer for PEIA. “If you are not aware, there is a global pandemic occurring.”
PEIA Finance Board member Mike Smith asked a question meant to clarify the effects of reduced claims over the past few months.
With that number of reduced claims, do we think that will result in increased claims next year
“Yes, we do anticipate additional claims next year because of the reduced claims this year,” Haught responded.
But how many medical procedures and which ones remained a question.
“Which services have been delayed due to covid and among those services which will be utilized in 2021?” actuary Chris Borcik asked during a presentation to the board. “2021 could very well be a year where there are services made up due to past demand.”
PEIA is estimating that $9 million in expenses delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic will be carried over into fiscal 2021.
“We’re very concerned about how this will play out. We’ll be continuously monitoring this situation,” Borcik said.
There were other unanticipated effects of the pandemic too. For instance, investment income for the West Virginia Retiree Benefit Trust was down $21 million.