PEIA impacts town budget
An unexpected premium hike in Shepherdstown’s municipal health insurance plan for retired employees of the municipality has inflicted an unexpected $85,000 dent in Shepherdstown’s unallocated video lottery funds for the rest of the year. The $85,000 hit now leaves the town with only $37,000 unallocated video lottery funds, down from over $122,000. Budget revisions relating to the rate hike were approved by the Shepherdstown Town Council at the regular monthly Council meeting on Sept. 8, at Town Hall at 104 N. King St.
The hit stems from a July 300 percent rate hike in Shepherdstown’s post-employment health plan. The plan is administered by the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency, and is the primary health care provide for employees of state, county, and municipal governments in West Virginia.
Pat Dowell, accounting clerk for the Corporation of Shepherdstown said in a written statement to the Chronicle that “The PEIA municipal health insurance program includes a post-employment health benefit. This benefit has been under-funded by the PEIA. Because of this, each municipality must contribute additional funds until it is fully funded. The $85,000 will be used for this program.”
Dowell speculates that the rate hike is due to a PEIA actuary study and revised financial plan. The town is now faced with having to find a way to fund this suddenly more expensive program.