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PEIA finance board approves premium hike, but makes changes to plan

By Roger Adkins, Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Insurance expenses for public employees will rise after the approval of a premium increase by the Public Employee Insurance Agency Finance Board on Thursday.

This marks the second premium increase for PEIA members since the West Virginia Legislature passed a bill last year, aiming to restore premiums to an 80/20 employer-employee cost-sharing model. The move was intended to prevent a shortfall in the agency in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Before this legislative action, PEIA premiums had remained unchanged since 2019.

PEIA provides coverage for 200,000 state employees, as well as approximately 30,000 local government and non-state workers.

Active employees fall into two groups, each associated with separate PEIA funds. The state fund provides insurance for people employed by state agencies, state colleges and universities, and county boards of education. Meanwhile, the “non-state” fund serves county and municipal governments utilizing PEIA to provide coverage for their employees.

Insurance costs for employees vary, based on their fund. The non-state fund experienced a 16% increase and the state fund rose by approximately 24% following the legislative changes and the initial round of premium increases last year.

The latest proposed plan called for another 10.5% increase for state employees, while non-state employees would see a 13% jump. The proposal also included a spousal charge for non-state employees whose partners had other coverage available.

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