PEIA boosts tiers so state workers getting raises won’t be hit with premium increases

The Public Employees Insurance Agency will raise its salary tiers to ensure rates don’t inadvertently go up for state employees who got pay raises this year.

PEIA’s action follows a directive by Gov. Jim Justice, who has vowed not to increase Public Employees Insurance Agency State Fund premiums during his term.

PEIA will raise salary tiers by $2,700. The change results from across-the-board pay raises for most state employees at the start of the new fiscal year. Those raises were part of  general revenue budget that passed during the most recent legislative session.

The increase to the salary tiers is meant to prevent policyholders from moving into a new tier because of the pay raise. If that happened, it would result in higher premiums for those people, as well as higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

Without the change, more than 15,000 employees receiving benefits through the state fund would have been adversely affected. Instead, they can now expect a greater take home pay without any additional changes to their benefits, officials said.

“The impact of salary increases on the salary-based premiums has historically been a cause for concern among State Fund employees,” stated Jason Haught, acting director for PEIA. “I’m thankful to Governor Justice that we are able to provide this salary tier adjustment to mitigate any unfortunate effects of the across-the-board pay raises.”

The salary tier increases will become effective August 1, 2022.

PEIA made the same move in 2018 to avert premium increases for public employees who had received raises.

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