Higher Medical Costs and Steep Deficit Outlook for PEIA

June 24, 2022

Mountaineer News

CHARLESTON, WV - The Public Employees Insurance Agency met in Charleston yesterday and is expecting to end the fiscal year with a deficit of $107 million.


Gov. Jim Justice has consistently said there will be no PEIA premium increases on his watch, causing agency officials to anticipate another infusion of reserve money to shore up the plan next year.


The question remains... what will happen under the next governor who takes office in two years?


West Virginia teachers went on strike in 2018 over a combination of issues, saying their pay had not kept pace with rising costs including health insurance. Justice established a PEIA Task Force that never had recommendations implemented, and the governor intervened by pledging a $150 million reserve fund to assure less strain and fewer swings.


A report 10 provided into the fiscal year over the past 10 months show that PEIA is a little more than $37 million behind budget with anticipated revenue. In terms of expenses, the agency is more than $24 million behind and will be almost $61 million behind budget before the fiscal year has concluded.


The agency has been paying out $43 million more than anticipated on medical claims this year along with $11.3 million more than expected on prescription drug claims. Hospital reimbursement claims have also been an issue.


The Buckhannon City Council executed its PEIA Renewal and Consulting Agreement with USI's Pete Thackstonopted during the June 16th Council meeting.


[WATCH THE JUNE 16TH CITY COUNCIL MEETING'S PEIA RENEWAL SEGMENT HERE]


Agenda from yesterday's meeting displayed below.