W. Va. Gov. Says Enough Doctors Exist for Network

June 24, 2004

Gov. Bob Wise announced this week another step toward bringing health care to all West Virginians – making insurance available to uninsured small businesses.

As part of the Governor’s Health Insurance Plan for Small Business, the Public Employees Insurance Agency concluded that there are enough participating physicians and health care providers to support a viable network for small businesses.

“This public/private partnership is fundamental to ensuring that West Virginians have access to affordable health insurance,” Wise said. “I thank the physicians, hospitals and other providers who have agreed to participate and the entire medical community for helping to make this program a reality.”

Private insurance carriers that elect to use this provider network must file with the insurance commissioner. Rates should be reportedly 20 to 25 percent less than the standard commercial market. Plans should be available in the last quarter of this year.

“Providing health care to all West Virginians is vitally important,” Wise added. “Not only will it keep West Virginians healthy, it can be used as an economic development tool that will spur additional small business in the state and employ more citizens.”

The Health Insurance Plan for Small Business will reportedly help tens of thousands of hardworking West Virginians. This program will be operated as a public-private partnership to keep costs low and keep it financially independent from the state to reportedly ensure that another unfunded liability is not created.

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