Raise In Tiers Sought For West Virginia Insurance Program

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Gov. Jim Justice is seeking a $2,700 increase in the salary tiers for health insurance premiums to avoid bumping teachers and other public employees into higher tiers from a recent 5 percent pay increase.

Justice announced at a news conference Monday he will ask the Public Employees Insurance Agency for the change.

West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee says it’s meant as a short-term solution until a permanent one can be found.

A task force held public meetings around the state on PEIA. The goal is to have a report ready by December’s interim legislative meetings.

Justice and the Legislature agreed to freeze PEIA premiums, deductibles and co-pays for the coming year and provided $29 million in supplemental funding. Justice also signed the 5 percent pay raise for teachers to end their nine-day strike in March.