Mountain State Spotlight – For the more than 200,000 public employees who rely on the state’s health insurance agency, their premiums may soon go up. Lawmakers are also advancing a pay raise for state employees but union leaders say they’re worried that it might not offset premium increases now and in the future.
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On Saturday, the state Senate voted 29-4 to pass SB 268, which aims to change the Public Employees Insurance Agency, or PEIA. The bill makes a number of changes to the agency, including a mandate that PEIA return to an 80/20 split in insurance costs between employers and employees by July 1 of this year.
Legislators argued that a yearslong freeze on premiums has left the state paying around 83% of insurance costs, leading to increased expenses for the agency and strained finances. Under current policies, PEIA faces a looming $376 million budget shortfall in 2027.
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