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PEIA Task Force continues work on insurance plan

CHARLESTON — As summer winds down, the PEIA Task Force is still aiming to shape insurance for West Virginia state employees.

The full task force met Thursday morning and accepted a report from a subcommittee responsible for assessing public opinion about what the insurance plan should be.

But two more subcommittees still have a lot of work ahead.

The coverage and plan subcommittee plans to meet next Thursday. And the cost and revenue subcommittee meeting is 2 p.m. Friday.

Mike Hall, the chief of staff for the Justice administration, said it’s likely those two committees can do their work concurrently or in cooperation.

Members of the full task force have been looking toward an Oct. 15 date to provide recommendations.

The Governor’s Office needs to provide a revenue overview to the separate PEIA Finance Board, which then produces a plan for the next fiscal year to take out to a series of public comment hearings each fall.

“I’ve never been one to easily predict how much time things are going to take to happen,” Hall said before the committee.

“We’re just making sure the final product is not rushed, but at the same time not delayed.”

The chairman of the cost and revenue subcommittee is Joe Letnaunchyn, president and chief executive of the West Virginia Hospital Association.

He said the big questions before that group will be, “What are the cost components? What are the revenue components? What are the costs of running the program?

“We need to know where we are and where we’re going before we make other recommendations.”

The PEIA Task Force was established by Gov. Jim Justice as an outcome of the teachers’ strike from last winter. It was meant to be a way to address concerns about rising out-of-pocket costs.