On this West Virginia Morning, as an alternative to the indoor shopping extravaganza known as Black Friday, a movement called “hashtag opt outside” urges people to get closer to parks, trails, community areas and the joy of being outdoors on that particular day. Randy Yohe took full advantage of the Friday alternative, going on a Blackwater Falls State Park birding hike.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
The Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) is considering another increase in premiums next year.
The PEIA Finance Board is evaluating higher premiums for state and local employees to comply with an 80-20 employer/employee cost split passed by the West Virginia Legislature this year.
Senate Bill 268 took effect on July 1 and increased the amount of reimbursement to providers to a minimum of 110 percent of Medicare’s rate. It also included a 24 percent increase in premiums for state employees and a 15.6 percent increase for the non-state employees.
The board met Thursday during the West Virginia Legislature’s October interim meetings and is now considering a 10.5 percent premium increase for state employees who sign up for the insurance, but there would be no change to their benefits. It is also weighing a 13 percent premium increase for employees of local governments that opt into PEIA, and an additional surcharge of approximately $147 for eligible spouses.
Retirees eligible for Medicare would not see any changes in their premiums or benefits. Employees who meet the age requirement for retirement, but not Medicare, would see a 10 percent premium increase with no changes to their benefits.
The PEIA board will hold a series of public hearings next month before making a final decision on possible premium increases.
The public meetings will be held on Nov. 6 at the Highlands Event Center in Wheeling, Nov. 7 at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg, Nov. 9 at the Holiday Inn – University Place in Morgantown, Nov. 13 at the Culture Center in Charleston and Nov. 14 at the Bluefield State College in Bluefield.
A virtual town hall is scheduled on Nov. 16.