CHARLESTON, W.Va. – House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, today issued the following statement after House leadership, the Republican caucus and Governor agreed to recommend the Finance Board of the Public Employees Insurance Agency maintain its current premium structure for the coming fiscal year.
“I’m grateful that Governor Justice and administration officials have agreed to ask the Finance Board to forego any changes to the PEIA premium structure for the coming year,” Speaker Armstead said.
“We have heard loudly and clearly from our constituents that they were concerned with the looming changes to PEIA,” Speaker Armstead said. “This action will provide lawmakers and officials an extra year to provide input and work toward a more equitable plan that best serves our teachers and state employees, as well as the taxpayers.”
For years, PEIA premiums have been structured based on an employee’s ability to pay, which has typically been determined using an individual employee’s income. This year the PEIA Finance Board proposed using total family income to determine family premium rates in an attempt to make the structure more fair.
“While we understand the PEIA Finance Board’s overall goal of including total family income was to make this determination more fair, we have been deeply concerned that the change may have some unintended consequences, particularly for families that have both spouses working for the state,” Speaker Armstead said.
“By delaying the move to this system, lawmakers, PEIA officials and enrollees will be able to offer more input and consider all options over the coming year to ensure a fair premium structure for PEIA,” Speaker Armstead said.
“In the meantime, we are also committed to passing a pay raise package for our teachers, corrections officers, State Police and state employees as a whole that will give them the best pay our resources will allow,” Speaker Armstead said