Charleston, WV – At today’s PEIA Finance Board meeting, employees were saved from the benefit cuts that were proposed for the next fiscal year. Only moments prior to the meeting, Governor Tomblin committed an additional $4 million to prevent these benefit reductions, which included huge increases on specialty drugs and additional out of pocket costs, penalizing the sickest and most vulnerable people in the plan. Despite this funding from the Governor, the PEIA director suggested keeping the proposed changes in specialty drugs, which would have increased co-pays from $50 to $85 on each individual specialty drug. At that time, Finance Board member Josh Sword (also AFT-WV’s political director) intervened and made a motion to keep specialty drug costs at current levels. Sword’s motion passed unanimously, saving employees over a half million dollars in out of pocket specialty drug costs.
“For the first time in many years, public employees will have no PEIA premium increases or take backs in benefits. This is a tremendous victory for public employees,” said AFT-WV president elect Christine Campbell.
“We want to thank Governor Tomblin, Secretary of Administration Ross Taylor, Josh Sword, Elaine Harris and all other PEIA Finance Board members for their leadership on this issue, as well as the hundreds of AFT-WV and WVSSPA members that spoke against the proposed take backs at the PEIA public hearings held across the state in November,” remarked AFT-WV president Judy Hale after today’s meeting.