PEIA won’t raise rates or cut benefits for coming year, but future years are less clear

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By Brad McElhinny, WV MetroNews

October 16, 2020

The Public Employees Insurance Agency says it will not raise rates or cut benefits for the coming year’s plan.

“No changes to premium, no changes to benefits for any of the populations we serve,” PEIA Director Ted Cheatham said today.

Increased out-of-pocket costs were a major factor in a statewide teachers strike two years ago, resulting in the formation of a PEIA Task Force to make recommendations for long-term stability.

With that history in mind, West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee raised questions during a PEIA Finance Board meeting about the financial future of the plan.

“I appreciate there’s no changes for employees again this next year,” Lee said. “Our concern is, what are we going to do next.”

A long-term financial chart distributed to the PEIA Finance Board showed anticipation of a 7.5 percent increase in costs in 2023, a 7.9 percent cost increase in 2024 and 8.2 percent in 2025.