UPDATE: Gov. Justice sends recommendations to PEIA Task Force

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV/AP) -- UPDATE
Governor Jim Justice has sent a list of recommendations to the Coverage and Plan Subcommittee of the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Association Task Force.

“I believe these recommendations address the issues that will benefit PEIA recipients the most,” Justice said. “These changes along with my proposal for $100 million to the PEIA stabilization fund over the next two years will go a long way to fixing PEIA.”

The recommendations include:

• Move Plan A benefits back to 80/20 coinsurance in WV external bordering counties only

• Move Plan B benefits back to 70/30 coinsurance in WV external bordering counties only

• Remove facility fee limits from out of state facilities

• Remove $25 copay for out-of-state services

• Add an appeal process for people requiring a third-tier non-preferred drug to allow for reduced copays

• I asked the coverage committee to review the wellness plans to further incentivize our members to seek better health outcomes

“I appreciate the many hours of hard work all the members of the PEIA Task Force have put into this project and I look forward to seeing the final report in the coming days.”

ORIGINAL STORY
A member of a task force studying funding for West Virginia public employees' health insurance program said most town hall participants believe a dedicated source of revenue is needed for the program.

Helen Matheny of West Virginia University Health Sciences Center is chairwoman of the Public Outreach Subcommittee of the Public Employees Insurance Agency Taskforce. She gave a report to a joint meeting of two subcommittees Wednesday.

Ideas for revenue streams for expected $50 million annual increases include increasing the soda tax, bringing back the food tax, taxing medical cannabis or raising natural gas severance taxes.

News outlets report Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow told the group that severance taxes can be extremely volatile.

The task force held 21 public meetings around the state to hear from public employees on how to best fix PEIA.

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