West Virginia - Wild and Wonderful

About West Virginia

West Virginia is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research.

Business

West Virginia is full of opportunity for any business with a growing economy and a highly dedicated workforce. Whether you are running an existing business or thinking of starting a new business you can find all of the information you need throughout this business section.

Education

West Virginia is fortunate to have a tremendous education system with a high standard of excellence. Please use the information provided here to learn more about the wealth of educational opportunities in our great state.

Employment

West Virginia is home to one of the finest workforces in the country based on our hard work and commitment to quality. Whether you are looking for new job opportunities, enhancing your job skills or researching future employment trends you can find all of the information you need throughout this employment section.

Family

West Virginia offers the perfect balance of a rural and urban setting that suits a variety of lifestyles. This is a state where you can go whitewater rafting in the morning, go to an art exhibit in the afternoon and attend a concert in the evening. Whether you just moved to the Mountain State or your family has been here since it was founded, you are part of our community.

Health

Maintaining proper health is vital to ensuring the highest quality of life possible. West Virginia strives to provide one of the best health care systems in the country that is affordable and available to all residents of the state. This section contains numerous resources to assist you in accessing the health care services provided in the state.

Tourism

Exhilarate in the lasting beauty and natural wonder scattered throughout West Virginia. From unmatched outdoor recreation to world-class resorts, breathtaking scenery and a variety of cultural and historic attractions, West Virginia is an ideal spot to plan your next adventure. Discover for yourself what makes West Virginia wild and wonderful.

 PEIA Finance Board Approves Plan For Fiscal Year 2010

12/4/2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA) Finance Board today adopted PEIA’s health care finance plan for fiscal year 2010, which includes necessary increases in members’ monthly premiums to help cover rising health care costs.

The cost change, which takes effect July 1, 2009, is the first premium increase in the last three years, and it will allow the Finance Board to preserve existing benefits.

Under the approved plan, for the average tobacco-free active employee earning $36,000 per year, the increase will be $3 per month for single coverage, and $13 per month for family coverage.  Tobacco-free retired members of PEIA with Medicare will not have a premium increase; however, their annual medical out-of-pocket maximum will increase from $500 to $750.

The PEIA Finance Board approved the increases due to rising health care costs, a problem facing states throughout the nation. The average premium increases are about nine percent for active employees, 11 percent for non-Medicare retired members and 12 percent for non-state agencies.

The Finance Board chose not to adopt the many benefit changes that had been proposed for active employees and retirees, in response to the overwhelming comments received during the public hearings. 

“Both active employees and retirees voiced their opposition to the benefit changes we proposed,” said PEIA director Ted Cheatham.  “There may have been some misunderstanding of our intent.  We had proposed benefit changes to offset the premium increases 'dollar for dollar,' but our members didn’t want those changes. “It was never our intention to adopt both the premium increases and benefit changes.” 

During the public hearings, employees expressed concern that they had received a three percent salary increase, but a nine percent premium increase in their health care was being proposed. However, while the salary increase for a $36,000-a-year employee was $1,080, the annual PEIA family premium increase for that same salary would be $156.

Another issue raised frequently during the public hearings was the existence of a $363 million reserve in the West Virginia Retiree Health Benefit Trust.  Many employees and retirees suggested that the board should spend down this reserve before increasing premiums. 

This reserve represents the funding that the plan is required to begin setting aside for current and future retiree benefits.  It is the funding for Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) that every participating employer has to accumulate.  To spend this reserve would simply increase the unfunded OPEB liability, further increasing costs in the future.

PEIA’s benefit design compares favorably with other southern states.  PEIA’s individual deductible for a $36,000-a-year employee is $225 compared with the regional average of $284.  The family deductible for a $36,000-a-year employee is $450, which is much lower than the regional average of $714.

PEIA provides health and life insurance benefits to more than 200,000 active and retired public employees and family member.

Contact Information

Diane Holley
304-558-0661