Health Insurance for Unused Sick Days
Wheeling, West Virginia – Lawmakers have eliminated sick day perks, urging their employees to “sell” their sick days for health insurance in West Virginia. These perks allowed unused sick days to accumulate and be used at another time. The already accrued sick days can be put toward a retirement or a health insurance policy in West Virginia.
2 unused sick days = 1 month of a single plan health insurance premium
3 unused sick days = 1 month of family premium coverage health insurance
Health care premiums currently cost hundreds of dollars per employee per month, and the elimination of accrued sick days should save the government of West Virginia a lot of money. For more information, visit http://www.wvinsurance.gov.
Health Insurance Exchange not pleasing Insurance Agents
Health insurance agents in West Virginia are wary of a new bid to create a state-run health insurance exchange. This exchange is a state-regulated and standardized health insurance plans that are eligible for federal subsidies. In turn, this makes them way more affordable for the consumer, who can purchase cheap health insurance benefits for full coverage.
A representative of an independent insurance agency in West Virginia said that they do support the health insurance exchange if it’s federally mandated. If not, they would like to inspect the idea closer.
West Virginia’s largest health insurance provider is Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia (https://www.highmarkbcbswv.com/ )and they publicly support the bill. Federal funding can be crucial in helping individuals pay their health insurance premiums, they said.
By law, all health insurance companies in West Virginia must have a health insurance exchange operating by January 1, 2014.
Health Insurance for Pregnant Teens
Charleston – A recent study showed that teen pregnancy rates are rising in West Virginia, with an increase of 17% in the last few years. Members of the West Virginia Commission on Health (http://www.legis.state.wv.us/committees/interims/committee.cfm?abb=health) attribute this climb to the fact that birth control and pregnancy for dependent minors are left out of West Virginia health insurance policies – the only state in America to do so. A representative said that teen pregnancies cost West Virginia $67 million in 2008.
The new bill would require that health insurance companies in West Virginia provide adequate coverage for contraceptive and pregnancy care coverage to all females, including dependent children. Some would expand their hours of care, and some might expand coverage.
PEIA increases Co-Payments
The West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency (http://www.peia.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx) has agreed to require an increase in co-payments from beneficiaries who use their health insurance services. Thousands of retired public employees rely on PEIA for health insurance benefits and one method of handling the increased PEIA cost was to raise monthly premiums, or increase their consumers’ co-payments.
Increasing monthly health insurance premiums does not fare well for seniors on fixed incomes. In addition, the consumers who are health conscious or pay for simple health insurance plans would essentially be paying for the PEIA consumers who cost more.
Higher co-payments for health insurance would also make people think twice about using medical services unless they really need the professional services.