December 15, 2018

Higher Education

Blue Ribbon Commission continues meeting. WV News reports, “Gov. Jim Justice’s blue-ribbon commission on four-year colleges met Thursday afternoon over a conference call for what was expected to be the group’s last session.


“But the panel will continue meeting — possibly into 2019 — to finish its work.”

Farm bill allows for local rural broadband projects. Route Fifty reports, “The farm bill passed by Congress this week would grant the U.S. Department of Agriculture more authority to create grants and provide loans for local rural broadband projects.”


Public Employees Insurance Agency

WVEA President urges adoption of PEIA’s 80/20 plan. MetroNews reports, “The Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board held its second public hearing on its proposed coverage plans … at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.


“West Virginia Education Association President Dale Lee addressed the board, urging members to adopt the so-called 80/20 health coverage plan recommended by the PEIA Task Force, in which the state would pay 80 percent of health care costs from all in-network service providers, regardless of a facility’s location.”


Thought bubble: We reported Monday, “PEIA pays instate facilities at approximately the same level as Medicare. If PEIA pays out-of-state facilities the same 80 percent, and that amount is more than is paid to West Virginia providers, mostly hospitals, a disparity is created. Industry officials say it’s bad for business, creating no instate incentive. (These providers are currently reimbursed on a 70/30 basis.) Consumer reps and teachers’ union officials say its responsive to member problems spotlighted during 21 public hearings around the state.”

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