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December 4, 2013 / jimnv

NVPEBP – Fire the Executive Officer

On November 21st,  the NV PEBP Board voted to restore some benefits it took away several years ago within the self-funded PPO plan. The so-call Consumer Driven plan will now cover 80 percent of the medical bills from when the deductible is met and until the out-of-pocket maximum is reached.  The individual deductible will go down by $400 for an individual and $800 for a family.

The healthy surplus is again the result of state employees being pressured by high deductibles and co-pays. For the past few years, the NV PEBP has announced unexpected high excess reserves and every year it gives back some of them. The people doing the figuring are incompetent. Seriously… they are incompetent. Something has to change. Let’s start with the resignation of the NV PEBP executive officer Wells. I have said this before and will say it again. He needs to resign. His salary could then be categorized as “salary savings” a common term for those knowledgable about state budget bullshit.

A couple of sessions ago the chicken-little executive officer announced there was a record-setting $100 million deficit, implying that state employees were medical insurance leeches and something had to be done and it had to be NOW! All lies and more bullshit. After he said that, the high deductible plan started and state employee bank accounts and salaries were pillaged. This was in addition to salary cuts, furloughs and increased pension payments.

Reality was different. State employees made up the deficit and paid millions extra into the reserve account. This shows state employees are not leeches and they more than pay their way. I wonder when people will get that? Certainly, the PEBP executive officer and his boss, Sandoval don’t.

Over these years, the PEBP Board returned millions of dollars to state employees over the objections of the executive director.  I thought, “What a mindless minion.” Then I remembered… he is just one of many Sandoval minions with orders to make state employee lives harder.  Why? Because Sandoval’s base likes to pick on state employees and too many think every employee gets an office, makes lots of money, usually over $100,000 a year and has a Cadillac health insurance plan. I have met many people who actually believe this. No, really! (Note: All were Republicans, wonder if there is a pattern here? Hmmm…) They are shocked when I tell them cube farms are standard and only one and a half percent of all state employees make over $100,000 a year with a fifth of all employees making $25,000 or less. I asked that they look at the cube farms in the Bryan Building to get a sense of some working conditions.

Just thinking … if you add a child or two to a household with an income less than $25,000, many state employees would qualify for  welfare. Now that is a sorry state of affairs. It is immoral to balance the state’s budget on the backs of state employees as Sandoval and the Legislature have done the past six years or so. Shame on them!

The PEBP executive officer makes Sandoval look bad but then, the quitter, do nothing and know nothing governor is sunny about his future. He is probably right about that because voters don’t know what he is. He is counting on low information voters to keep him in office and he won’t truthfully say will quit his governorship a couple of years after his re-election.

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5 Comments

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  1. FML157 / Dec 9 2013 10:46 pm

    This is unfortunate to hear because many good State of Nevada employees made decisions based on the forecasting of the PEBP Board/ Executive Officer; once employees got wind of the continued price increases in their health premiums they decided to look for work elsewhere. I wonder how many would have stayed if the calculations/forecast would have been done correctly in the first place. Lastly, I hope this fund surplus does not get used for anything else.

  2. Stephen Shaw / Dec 5 2013 12:34 pm

    Great article Jim   Steve

    ________________________________

    • jimnv / Dec 5 2013 3:41 pm

      Thanks! I get so tired of the state BS that my annoyance come out. If Nevadans knew how things are run at the state and county levels they would freak out.

  3. Lawrence Cassidy / Dec 4 2013 6:19 pm

    Jim, you are right on the mark. This is not an issue of Democrat versus Republican or liberal versus conservative. This is an issue of justice versus injustice and of reality versus misrepresentation. It is easy to scapegoat one group of people, such as Nevada state employees and retirees, so as to appease certain groups bent on a political agenda, and so as to divert attention away from those really responsible for Nevada’s economic shortfalls and coming up with real, fair and equitable solutions instead.

    As you know, my wife just started a new job as an RN with Good Samaritan. She has been there now for 60 days and finally qualifies to sign up their health care plan. Their plan is so good in comparison to the State of Nevada’s plan that, not only is she transferring herself off of my health care insurance plan through Nevada PEBP, but she is also transferring over my daughters. Her in-network family deductible is only $1,000.00, compared to my in-network family deductible of $3,800.00. Her in-network maximum out-of-pocket is only $5,000.00, compared to my maximum out-of-pocket of $7,800.00. Nevada PEBP only covers currently only covers 75% of so-called “reasonable-and-customary” expense. Her plan covers 80% of all expenses. If she included me on her plan, we would only pay $5.00 more a month. I do not understand how Good Samaritan can have such a better health care plan than the State of Nevada. I am sure that there are more people employed by and retired from the State of Nevada than are employed by or retired from Good Samaritan. How come State of Nevada employees and retirees have to have such a third rate health insurance plan in comparison to a much smaller private sector employer? It makes no sense, no sense at all.

    I loved working for the State of Nevada. I was proud to serve the state and its people throughout my career. However, I always felt like a second-class citizen, because our pay increases were few and far in between and never kept up with the cost-of-living. Now that I am retired from the State of Nevada, I feel like a third class citizen. My pension is under constant attack, even through I do not qualify for Social Security, and even though Nevada PERS keeps on making money through its sound investment practices, which must piss some people off. Additionally, my health care insurance benefits are under constant attack, even though, at best, it is third rate health care insurance. All compounded by, my personal and private information is under attack, reference the RGJ’s lawsuit and desire to publish such information, even though the same information of those receiving Social Security benefits is classified as private by federal law. In other words, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution applies to every other U.S. citizen and non-citizen, except for myself and other Nevada State employees and retirees.

    Yes, indeed, in the eyes of Nevada, you and I and every other Nevada state employee and retiree are classified as third rate citizens, all because we chose to work for the State of Nevada. Tell me that is not unfair. Where is the justice in our so-called just society?

    • jimnv / Dec 4 2013 7:05 pm

      I am very happy to hear you are now covered under a better plan than the one the State of Nevada has. My brother used to work for a Reno casino and they had a plan much better than the state’s. He would complain all the time about it until I filled him in on what my plan had as far as benefits. He thought a $10 co-pay was outrageous and actually paying for medicine was unheard of.

      I think the state will send every employee active and retired to health care exchanges in 2015. Maybe even to ObamaCare. The state subsidy will be frozen and the employee will have to make up the difference as the years go by. Great for the state but not for employees. Without collective bargaining, state salaries will continue to stagnate and benefits drop. Then, more and more employees will be on welfare. Where does it end? Do they not know that when you do this, the state’s economy is hurt? It certainly impacted was after hundreds of employees, mostly in the north were laid off in the past few years. Add to add to that, the hiring freeze which disproportunately affected the North. Reno/Washoe County and Douglas and Lyon and Carson City were hurt financially because there was less money being spent in their areas. It make no sense to me.

      A lot of the money collected from state employees for their health care premiums and medical savings went to balance the budget. Since when is it okay to tax a select group? Now, if the state imposed a fee on ALL employees in Nevada then that would be legal but it is unconstitutional to do otherwise. A state employee tax is unconstitutional. That’s why so many don’t want to even say the term and when they do, they make fun of it. It’s nothing to laugh at. This is what is happening. The governor and legislature know it.

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