West Virginia News – The Public Employees Insurance Agency’s Finance Board is holding public discussions across the state regarding a proposed 10% premium increase for the coming year. This increase would be in addition to the 24% increase implemented for the current year for state employees and educators. The increases are a result of legislation mandating an 80-20 cost split between the government employer and insured employees. While public sector workers have not experienced the same premium increases as private sector workers in recent years, the consecutive increases are alarming to organizations representing public employees.
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Dale Lee, president of the West Virginia Education Association, expressed concern over the dramatic increase in premiums over the past two years. He acknowledged that there were no premium increases for three years, thanks to a reserve fund established by the state government and a promise from the governor to keep premiums stable. However, he criticized the proposed 10% increases for the next three years, stating that it is not reasonable for employees.
The PEIA Finance Board is proposing various premium increases and benefit changes for different groups. State employees will face a 10.5% premium increase with no changes to benefits. Employees of local governments that opt into PEIA will see a 13% premium increase, along with a surcharge of around $147 for eligible spouses. Retirees eligible for Medicare will not experience any changes to their premiums or benefits. Finally, individuals who have retired but are not yet eligible for Medicare will face a 10% premium increase with no changes to benefits.
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