(a) There is hereby created the West Virginia children's health insurance board, which shall consist of the director of the Public Employees Insurance Agency, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, or his or her designee, and six citizen members appointed by the Governor, one of whom shall represent children's interests and one of whom shall be a certified public accountant, to assume the duties of the office immediately upon appointment, pending the advice and consent of the Senate. A member of the Senate, as appointed by the Senate president and a member of the House of Delegates, as appointed by the Speaker of the House of Delegates, shall serve as nonvoting members. Of the five citizen members first appointed, one shall serve one year, two shall serve two years and two shall serve three years. All subsequent appointments shall be for terms of three years, except that an appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the unexpired term only: Provided, That the citizen member to be appointed upon the reenactment of this section during the regular session of the Legislature, two thousand, shall serve a term which corresponds to the term of the member initially appointed to serve one year. Three of the citizen members shall have at least a bachelor's degree and experience in the administration or design of public or private employee or group benefit programs and the children's representative shall have experience that demonstrates knowledge in the health, educational and social needs of children. No more than three citizen members may be members of the same political party and no board member shall represent or have a pecuniary interest in an entity reasonably expected to compete for contracts under this article. Members of the board shall assume the duties of the office immediately upon appointment. The director of the agency shall serve as the chairperson of the board. No member may be removed from office by the Governor except for official misconduct, incompetence, neglect of duty, neglect of fiduciary duty or other specific responsibility imposed by this article or gross immorality. Vacancies in the board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
(b) The purpose of the board is to develop plans for health services or health insurance that are specific to the needs of children and to bring fiscal stability to this program through development of an annual financial plan designed in accordance with the provisions of this article.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code to the contrary, any insurance benefits offered as a part of the programs designed by the board are exempt from the minimum benefits and coverage requirements of articles fifteen and sixteen, chapter thirty-three of this code.
(d) The board may consider adopting the maximum period of continuous eligibility permitted by applicable federal law, regardless of changes in a family's economic status, so long as other group insurance does not become available to a covered child.
(e) The board shall meet at the time and place as specified by the call of the chairperson or upon the written request to the chairperson by at least two members. Notice of each meeting shall be given in writing to each member by the chairperson at least three days in advance of the meeting. Four voting members shall constitute a quorum.
(f) For each day or portion of a day spent in the discharge of duties pursuant to this article, the board shall pay each of its citizen members the same compensation and expense reimbursement as is paid to members of the Legislature for their interim duties.