By JONATHAN MATTISE
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia is revisiting the idea of larger cuts to state employee and retiree health plans as a state budget stalemate drags on.
West Virginia’s Public Employee Insurance Agency Finance Board is meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss options amid a budget fight that has seen funding options for health plans die, including a higher tax on tobacco products and e-cigarettes.
In December, the board approved plans to cut $120 million from health plans, which would affect state employees, teachers and retirees. They would affect the 2017 fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The Republican-led Legislature and Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin have not yet reached a budget agreement. The House of Delegates has resisted tax increases, including the tobacco tax.
Open enrollment for members is April 2 to May 15.
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