|PEIA approves concepts to restructure PEIA’s 80/20 rule
The PEIA Task Force Tuesday, Jan 08, approved concepts that, if they become law, will unravel the set-in-stone 80/20 match between employers (state and local governments) and employees. The suggestion would require the state pay at least 80 percent of the PEIA premium and employees pay no more than 20 percent.
The concept allows the PEIA Finance Board to make up the employees’ 20 percent in co-payment and co-insurance increases. The increases would be tied to the usually ever-increasing medical inflation rate. PEIA Director Ted Cheatham, who is not task force member, agreed the suggestion “would put both sides on the hook” for potential increases.
Members approved what will probably amount to a feel-good motion that requires PEIA funding to be finalized 16 days into the session—the second Friday following the governor’s Wednesday state-of-the-state address. While this would impose another deadline for the PEIA funding the governor certifies each October, Senate President Mitch Carmichael, a task force member, got members to agree the appropriation could change with exigent budget issues. The budget is usually approved during the waning days of a legislative session.
A subcommittee that met earlier in the day shot down a proposal that would have changed PEIA’s plan year from a fiscal year to a calendar year.
DHHR announces funding increases
During a meeting of the Joint Committee on Government and Finance on Tuesday, Jan. 08, Department of Health and Human Resources Deputy Secretary Jeremiah Samples announced DHHR has increased payments for individuals providing services on the Intellectual and Developmentally Disabled Waiver and the Aged and Disabled Waiver.
Homemaker service payments are increased from $15 to $17 per hour. Case management payment is increased from $71 to $80. Reimbursement has also been increased for ground and air transport for emergency medical services.
Samples said DHHR is considering adding 100 additional IDD waiver slots and 600 additional ADW slots.
Investment fund probably won’t meet 7.5 percent projections
Craig Slaughter, executive director of the state’s Consolidated Investment Fund, said the state will probably not meet the fund’s 7.5 percent profit projections. If that happens, legislators and the governor will need to find additional funds to pay down the state’s retirement debt.
AFT plans on addressing unresolved issues. WV News reports, “Members of the West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers … say they plan to address issues pertaining to last year’s statewide teachers’ strike that have yet to be resolved.”
Legislators look to craft functioning financial system for medical marijuana by July The Intelligencer reports, “In a discussion delving into health questions and legal quandaries, West Virginia’s plans to implement medical marijuana supplied the first panel discussion topic of the West Virginia Press Association’s Legislative Lookahead … at the Culture Center in Charleston.
“As panelists discussed marijuana, they contemplated the logistics of crafting a functional financial system by July and explored how — and if — marijuana could help patients suffering from various medical conditions. In April 2017, Gov. Jim Justice signed into a law a plan that allows the use of medical cannabis under certain parameters and sets July 1 as the date on which patient and caregiver identification cards may be issued.”
Property tax rollback may be back this year. The Dominion Post reports, [A] proposal — which would have whittled away property taxes for manufacturers over a period of years — could be back this year in some form.”
Senate President seeking second opinion on impeachment case. CBS19 reports, “Three months after a ruling halted the impeachment process involving most of West Virginia’s Supreme Court justices, the state Senate president is seeking a second opinion.”
Flu widespread in Kentucky. The Richmond Register reports, “With increases in flu cases or flu outbreaks in at least half of the Commonwealth’s regions, the state Department of Public Health is reporting widespread flu activity in Kentucky.”
…West Virginia seeing fewer cases. WVNews reports, “ West Virginia has seen fewer cases of influenza so far this flu season compared to surrounding states, according to local experts.”