Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Fayette Schools 'Error' Lets PEIA Coverage Lapse

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Fayette Schools 'Error' Lets PEIA Coverage Lapse

Article excerpt

Fayette County schools employees temporarily lost their Public Employees Insurance Agency health coverage recently because of what the county superintendent said was an error by his school system. "We had an error with one of our staff, and that was handled internally and corrected immediately," Superintendent Terry George said. "And steps were put in place to see that it does not happen again."

George said the error wasn't the fault of the West Virginia Department of Education or the state Board of Education, which had control of most of the school system but returned most power back to the county school board earlier this month.

George is the state-appointed superintendent who the locally elected school board is required to employ.

It was unclear late Thursday how long the coverage had lapsed, but Wes Toney, a representative of the West Virginia branch of the American Federation of Teachers union, said Fayette schools employees received letters around Jan. 6 that said their monthly premiums hadn't been paid in full.

The letters said their coverage had been suspended retroactively back to Nov. 30 and, if they didn't pay the premiums, their coverage would be canceled.

Toney said his union was first notified when he got a call from a member on Jan. 13. He said he called the Fayette school system that day and was told the situation had been resolved.

Over the weekend, though, he said he'd heard the issue had persisted. He said a union member in an emergency room had to pay for a cast with his own credit card because his coverage was denied. …

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