PEIA Finance Board approves new FY 17 plan

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PEIA Finance Board approves new FY 17 plan
By Carrie Hodousek, WV MetroNews

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board approved a plan Thursday to reduce the premium increase for retirees from 12 percent to 6 percent.

State employees insured with PEIA would still have to pay the 12 percent increase included in the new state budget signed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin last week.

Tomblin proposed the supplemental appropriation that allocates $15 million by using $5 million to reduce the PEIA premium increase for retirees.

“We’re talking $5 to $6 on a single (person) and $12 to $15 on a family,” said PEIA Director Ted Cheatham about how much retirees will have to pay.

In addition, $10 million would allocated to PEIA to help reduce benefit cuts or premium increases that may be necessary in Fiscal Year 2018.

Cheatham, who was a guest on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” said they are also changing some copays within the plan.

“We’re moving an urgent care copay up to $50 that will allow us to bring in telemedicine,” he said. “We’ve also put in a $500 additional deductible for high risk behaviors in the emergency rooms, so not wearing a helmet, for example, when riding a motorcycle.”

PEIA will have an open enrollment period for state workers who want to make changes to their accounts.

“We’re going to mail out shopper’s guides here within about a week. There will be a form in the back of the shopper’s guide or they can go online to get a copy of the form, but we do have to do it in paper to make this happen at this late date,” Cheatham said.