CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to recommend the Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board suspend implementation of its proposed plan changes for one year in order to come up with a more desirable plan.
The House voted 97-1 to adopt House Resolution 5, which formally requests the PEIA Finance Board maintain its current financial plan for the coming year.
“We have heard loudly and clearly from our public employees and constituents about their fears and concerns over the changes to their health insurance plan,” said House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha. “They want to see something done, and so do we.”
Delaying changes to the PEIA plan in the coming year will give lawmakers and administration officials more time to offer input, consider additional options, and develop a better plan for the following year that has a fairer structure that better serves the state’s teachers, public employees and taxpayers.
“The overwhelming vote to adopt this resolution sends a strong message to the PEIA Finance Board that the people’s elected representatives in the House want to see action to change this plan,” said House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan. “Delaying changes to the plan will give us more time to explore options in the budget and PEIA setup that will improve the plan but not have the negative effects on our teachers, service personnel and state employees.”
The resolution expresses concerns over unintended consequences and proposed changes to the plan that could significantly increase costs for many plan members. Those include changes that would:
The resolution acknowledges that while some of these proposals were introduced in an attempt to provide a more fair plan, given the pressures of the escalating costs of health care and prescription drugs, the changes might have had unintended consequences that unfairly punish many state workers.
The full text of the resolution is available here: http://bit.ly/2E9tPap.