21 May 2009

PEIA to Revisit Retiree Subsidy Vote

The finance board of the Public Employees Insurance Agency is meeting June 4 to address its recent vote to stop subsidizing retirees' health care, The Associated Press and others report.

The decision to halt subsidies starting with employees hired after this year prompted immediate calls for a lawsuit. The American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia in particular argued that the board could not make such a change at the May 15 emergency meeting, given its limited agenda.

State officials stand by the decision. But Administration Secretary Rob Ferguson tells The Charleston Gazette that "he will ask the board to rescind its decision to eliminate the retiree subsidy, pending public hearings on the matter," but "presumes that the board will schedule another meeting sometime later this summer to re-vote on eliminating the retiree coverage."

Gov. Joe Manchin, meanwhile, tells MetroNews that "he applauds the PEIA board for addressing the issue," while stressing that the vote does not affect current workers or retirees.

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