No PEIA premium hikes or benefits cuts next year

By Phil Kabler, Charleston Gazette-Mail

With the help of a $105 million cash infusion from the West Virginia Legislature, the PEIA Finance Board on Thursday approved preliminary 2020-21 benefit plans with no premium increases or benefits cuts for active employees and retirees.

“We’re proposing to go out [to public hearings] without any rate increases at all,” PEIA Executive Director Ted Cheatham told the board.

For employees of cities, counties and governmental agencies with PEIA coverage, the preliminary plan is even better, calling for a two-year phase-in of premium cuts.


“Our intention is to put in some sort of rate decrease,” Cheatham said.

The good news was made possible by a strong financial performance for the plan in the 2018-19 budget year, which saw investment earnings exceed projections by nearly $60 million, while medical and prescription drug claims came in nearly $14 million less than expected.