CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTRF) — Gov. Jim Justice signed three financial bills on Friday to address the PEIA public employee health insurance issue, pay raises for public employees and a budget bill, according to MetroNews.
Senate Bill 268 makes changes to PEIA including a proposal to take the insurance plan to an 80-20 split between employer and public worker. In addition, spouses with other insurance options would need to buy into PEIA at for a cost of around $147 per month.
PEIA provides insurance to public school teachers and staff, state employees and other public employees in West Virginia.
WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital responded to Justice signing the bill Friday afternoon, saying they were “grateful.” They said they will continue participation with PEIA.
“We are grateful to Governor Justice and the West Virginia Legislature for stabilizing and improving PEIA. Because of their work, Wheeling Hospital will be able to continue participating with PEIA.”WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital
PEIA’s financial struggles came to the forefront in January when Wheeling Hospital President and CEO Jim Kaufman said the hospital would refuse services to PEIA patients because of the low reimbursement rate effective July 1.
Wheeling Hospital will no longer accept West Virginia Public Employees Insurance after a certain date
Kaufman said at the time that Wheeling Hospital was struggling financially from below cost-of-service reimbursements and cutting PEIA patients would help financially.
The new bill will raise the reimbursement rate to 110 percent of what Medicaid pays.
Another bill, Senate Bill 423 will provide $2,300 pay raises for educators and state police troopers.