$50M in health insurance cuts approved for public employees

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency has approved more than $50 million in 2017-18 health insurance plan benefits cuts for state and public school employees, many non-state public employees, and retirees.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the PEIA Finance Board approved the cuts Thursday. The plan includes $28 million in benefit cuts for state and public school employees, primarily through higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums as well as mandatory 90-day prescription fills for maintenance drugs for chronic conditions.

Board members representing public employees criticized the cuts, which come about five months after the Legislature approved a $43.5 million increase in employers' PEIA premiums, resulting in a $14 million jump in employee premiums.

Non-state employees will see premium increases of 6 percent, while retirees will experience a 4 percent rise.

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