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February 14, 2012 / jimnv

PEBP – Give Back Our Money

The PEBP Board admitted they have a $47 million surplus (excess reserves) so far this fiscal year which started July 1st of last year. This is raises many questions. The main one, “How did this happen?” At a recent legislative committee meeting, PEBP advisers were unclear and had no simple answers.

It is clear to me. The increase in premiums and deductibles significantly reduced the use of health care by participants.

Since the cost is so high, lower paid and retired state employees were unable to access health care. If you make under $30,0000 a year, and many active state employees do (about 20 percent), the $1,900 deductible is quite high. State employees have the same fiscal problems like any other Nevadan  and with no raises the past 3 plus years, the money problems are acute.

This made me wonder why the reserve fund is so high. Then it became clear. The reserve is so high so the legislature can, once again steal tens of millions as they did in the last legislative session. They see the PEBP reserves as a great way to help balance the budget.

Let’s demand the PEBP give back that money to its participants.

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4 Comments

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  1. Lawrence Cassidy / Feb 17 2012 11:59 am

    Jim,

    So as to set the record straight, the actual deductibles paid by state employees and retirees are much higher than just $1,900. That is just the amount an individual without a family must pay before his State of Nevada health insurance kicks in. However, the individual deductible for an individual with two or more family members covered under the Nevada PEBP plan is $2,400, and the actual family deductible for a state employee or retiree is $3,800.

    So, a state employee or a state retiree not eligible for Medicare, who has their entire family (spouse and underage children) insured under the Nevada PEBP plan must cough up a whopping $3,800 before his health insurance through the State of Nevada pays a dime, and then the most that is paid for “reasonable and customary” covered services is only 75% for in-network or 50% for out-of-network medical services.

    The truth is, as you pointed out, most state employees and non-Medicare eligible state retirees cannot afford to cough up the $1,900 individual deductible or the $3,800 family deductible, so they just end up not going to the doctor or dentist for needed medical procedures, not even for so-called preventatives services, since some preventative service fees charged by the health care provider might be beyond what the plan refers to as “reasonable and customer” fees. Other state employees and retirees just completely dropped out of the plan, because they could not afford the high premiums in conjunction with the extremely high deductibles.

    The term “Nevada PEBP” used to mean “Nevada Public Employees Benefit Program”. The term now means “Nevada Public Employees Bend-Over Program”. Obviously, Nevada state employees and non-Medicare eligible retirees have “bent over” to the tune of $47 million; and, if the scapegoating and unfair treatment of state employees and retirees continues, they can expect to bend over even further.

    Deductibles (Plan Year 2012):
    Individual = $1,900
    Individual (when two or more family members are covered) = $2,400.00
    Family = $3,800.00
    (Source: http://pebp.state.nv.us/ppo_plan.htm)

  2. Warren Wish / Feb 14 2012 3:23 pm

    You don’t seem to think the Governor and Legislature will allow PEPB to hold to the commitment it made before the Interim Retirement and Benefits committee. Jim West said PEBP was going to use the surplus to pay for an estimated 9% medical inflation increase projected for 2012. PEBP wants to keep member rates unchanged for 2012-2013 and draw down the surplus. Of course, the high deductible remains in effect and perhaps even more PEBP members will choose to look elsewhere for health insurance. Just because the Governor and Legislature took millions last session from the special reserve account PEPB had established to offset future liabilities, doesn’t mean it will be open season once again on public agencies. I must be a real Pollyanna.

    • jimnv / Feb 14 2012 3:30 pm

      When it comes to money, both the Governor and the Legislature are whores.

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  1. Excellent Article: ALEC’s Plan for the 2013 Legislature: Part 2 The Assault on Public Employees” « Nevada State Employee Focus

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