Public Employee's Health Insurance Agency

On The Legislature Today, Republican Legislative leaders have expressed no intention to increase funding for the state's Public Employee's Health Insurance Agency, the healthcare coverage for government employees. That means potential increases in premiums and costs for those covered under the plan.

Dept. of Administration Sec. John Myers and PEIA Director Ted Cheatham discuss the funding for PEIA.

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PEIA is the public health insurance program that covers all state employees and retirees. Teachers, state troopers, and yes, even employees of West Virginia Public Broadcasting are covered by the insurance plans. But here’s the issue: over the past few years, funding from state government for PEIA has stayed the same, while health care costs have been on the rise. Now, PEIA needs an additional $50-60 million each year in order to keep funding the program at the same level.

 

Martin Valent / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After some discussion of possible amendments, members of the Senate Finance Committee decided Tuesday to finish their consideration of a bill to increase the state's tobacco tax Wednesday afternoon.

The bill, introduced on behalf of Governor Tomblin, would increase the tax by 45 cents per pack and also includes various increases for other tobacco products. Members, however, were interested in several amendments to the bill, leading to the recess.