The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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January 7, 2013

Over 1,000 retired state employees receive errant letter telling them their health insurance has been canceled

W.Va. Aging and Disability Resource spokesman says PEIA responsible for error

BECKLEY —

More than a thousand retired state employees received letters over the weekend that wrongly told them their Humana health care insurance had been canceled.

Shawn Allen, coordinator with the West Virginia Aging and Disability Resource Center, said resource centers across the state had a high volume of calls Monday about the letter.

Once the centers called PEIA (Public Employees Insurance Agency), they learned the letters have been sent in error, he said.

PEIA Spokesperson Diane Holley-Brown explained that the error occurred on Humana’s end, the PEIA carrier for retired members over 65.

She said Humana erroneously mailed over 1,000 letters and the letters appear to have been sent out mainly in the Princeton and Bluefield area.

Allen said state retirees with Humana coverage will be getting a new benefit card with a new group number, but they can still go to the doctor and fill prescriptions normally, he explained.

“We are trying to get the word out to people not to panic. It is scary for people, particularly seniors, when they get a letter saying that they no longer have insurance,” Allen said.

Holley-Brown said Humana is also currently working to notify those members who were sent a letter and ensure them their coverage is active.

Allen said anyone with questions is welcome to call the State Health Insurance Program (Medicare) at 866-598-2372.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

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