Teachers watching health insurance task force closely

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Teachers are watching closely as a task force studying fixes to a health insurance program for West Virginia public employees prepares to finalize its recommendations.

American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia President Fred Albert told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that state officials made a promise and teachers want to see they keep it.

Gov. Jim Justice created the Public Employees Insurance Agency task force at the height of the statewide teachers’ walkout in February. The panel was charged with finding ways to reduce costs and improve benefits and to resolve ongoing funding shortfalls.

The full PEIA task force is scheduled to meet next Monday with the goal of giving recommendations to the Legislature by Tuesday.

A task force subcommittee has forwarded recommendations from Justice that would give employees in counties bordering other states greater flexibility for health care access.

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