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The Public Employees Benefits Program (PEBP)

 

PEBP PUBLISHES BENEFIT WISE BULLETIN

DATED FEBRUARY 15 2017

 

To view the newsletter, please click on the link below:

 

021517 PEBP HMO February Newsletter

 

 

PEBP GOES BEFORE THE NEVADA LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION'S BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEE

JANUARY 31, 2017

 

PEBP Executive Officer Damon Haycock covered a 22 slide presentation on the agency's Biennial Plan Year Proposal they will roll out for consideration during the upcoming 79th Session of the Nevada Legislature who come together February 6 for the start of the session. The 2 year plan amounts to roughly $940 million and includes nearly $13 million in enhancements for active and retiree participants in PEBP and the Medicare Exchange. Prior to his presentation, public comment came from Kent Ervin who represents the Nevada System of Higher Education; Terri Laird, Executive Director of RPEN, Priscilla Maloney, the Retiree Rep for AFSCME and RPEN's Lead Lobbyist Marlene Lockard. All four urged this committee and the Legislature as a whole to consider the participants well being in the upcoming session. RPEN is, and has been, for several sessions now, very concerned about the "orphan" retiree situation, a small, dwindling pool of non-state participants facing escalating health insurance costs since they don't belong to a larger pool...and never will qualify to belong. The group, as a whole, also testified of concerns over Senate Bill 80 that seeks to move PEBP from a stand-alone agency to the Department of Administration, thus making the PEBP Board advisory in nature.

 

Board Meeting

 

The PEBP Board met Thursday, January 19 and discussed Plan Design changes for Plan Year 2018. The board discussed Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA's) and agreed to a $5,000 Max Balance which will apply to both participants in the Medicare Exchange and all actives and others in the Consumer Driven High Deductible accounts. Limits, however, won't be applied until the end of Plan Year 2018. There was also a discussion of fees to be imposed against Medicare Exchange participants in the amount of $2.83 per retiree for Life Insurance (which will also be reduced from the current $12,500 to $10,000) as well as a fee for HRA Administrative Fees in the amount of $2.75 per month. It was not determined how to assess these fees however, so that is yet to be determined. RPEN has expressed our displeasure with the imposition of these fees. Additional business from the January 19 meeting included the selection of Health Plan of Nevada and Hometown Health to offer HMO products. But due to increased rates on the standard HMO option, an additional HMO alternate plan design will also be offered, but won't be available in all counties in the state.

 

The PEBP Board's last meeting was November 17. RPEN'S Lead Lobbyist/Legislative Advocate Marlene Lockard was there and filed a report that can be viewed by clicking on the link below:

 

PEBP Meeting November 17 2016

 

Meanwhile, PEBP and PERS Board matters were also discussed December 14 as the Interim Retirement and Benefits Committee (IRBC) gathered for their 2nd time in 2016 at the Legislative Building at 401 S. Carson Street. No action was taken at this meeting but RPEN representatives spoke about the need for the legislature to once again consider a solution to the longstanding "orphan" retiree situation at PEBP. This is a so-called "dwindling" group of retirees who are continually subjected to escalating healthcare costs because they do not belong to the larger pool of PEBP active participants or PEBP Medicare Exchange participants. RPEN's Lead Lobbyist Lockard testified at the December meeting that it would take a $6 million fix and it is hoped that the 2017 legislature will address the issue once and for all. The committee also was alerted about a couple of bills that were pre-filed before the session begins February 6. Senate Bill 80 seeks to move PEBP from an independent agency to a new division of the Department of Administration run by an advisory board that would no longer appoint an Executive Director (a position now held by Damon Haycock). SB 80 also seeks to do the same thing with the deferred compensation committee and would give the Board of Examiners control over awarding contracts in both programs. RPEN is opposed to this measure at the current time as we believe it would lead to less transparency within PEBP. Another bill, Assembly Bill 71, comes from the State Controller Ron Knecht, and is very similar to a bill from 2015 that seeks an alternative pension plan for new hires similar to a hybrid plan outlined in Assembly Bill 190 from 2015. RPEN successfully fought against AB 190 (sponsored by former Reno Assemblyman Randy Kirner) and we will work with our coalition of public employee groups to make a stand against AB 71 in the upcoming session!

 

For more information about PEBP call 775-684-7000. Also please note that PEBP Executive Officer Damon Haycock has a regular column in every issue of the RPEN Review Newsletter on important health care issues that matter to all public employees, retired or still working!

 

PEBP SCHEDULES INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS FOR MEDICARE AND

PRE-MEDICARE RETIREES

IN SOUTHERN NEVADA

 

Medicare and Pre-Medicare Retiree Meetings are about to start up again in Southern Nevada at the College of Southern Nevada's Charleston Campus, Library Building on February 27. The Pre-Medicare meeting is from 9-10am, followed by the Medicare meeting from 10:30am-Noon and One-on-One HRA Appointments available from 1-4pm the same day. All meetings will take place in the same room. Then on February 28, there will be additional One-on-One HRA Appointments available from 9am-4pm  at the same campus, but in the Ralph and Betty Engelstad School of Health Sciences Building in Building K, Room 208. The campus is located at 6375 W. Charleston Blvd in Las Vegas.

Towers Watson's One Exchange call center reps are also available to assist you by phone Monday through Friday from 5am-6pm Pacific Time at 1-888-598-7545.

 

Newsletter

Benefit Wise Bulletin-June2016

 

 

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For additional information about PEBP, please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.

https://pebp.state.nv.us/

 

 

 

Public Employees Retirement System of Nevada (PERS)

 

The Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) Board will meet again Thursday, February 16, 2017 at the boardroom located at 693 W. Nye Lane in Carson City. The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. with an Education Session, followed by the regular meeting that starts at noon. To view the board packet, please click on the link below:

 

February 2017-Board Book

 

 

PERS BOARD DECIDES TO APPEAL COURT RULING IN FAVOR OF THE NEVADA POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE

 

A special meeting of the PERS Board was held January 31 that included several RPEN members in the audience, as PERS looks to fight the January 24 decision of Carson District Court Judge James Wilson favoring NPRI over PERS, permitting NPRI access to the following information: retiree name, years of service credit, gross pension benefit amount, year of retirement and last employer. NPRI, during testimony at the January 17 court hearing, said since the taxpayer pays these salaries, they have a right to have access to this information to make sure the state law is being followed. The vote to file an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court was unanimous, and RPEN Executive Director Terri Laird testified during public comment at the meeting that RPEN, who stood in support of PERS when the Reno Newspapers group sought similar information several years, would support PERS again in whatever ways possible. PERS Board Chairman Mark Vincent, who made the motion to file an appeal, said he is quite concerned about what this release could mean to retirees, already a vulnerable group, as it pertains to identity theft and other cybercrimes. Laird concurred that those are RPEN's concerns as well.

 

Also during this meeting January 31, PERS Executive Officer Tina Leiss announced that PERS will be going before the Nevada Senate Finance Committee February 7 for their agency's budgeting hearing. PERS will also appear for a similar budget overview before the Senate Government Affairs Committee February 9 as well as another budget meeting before the Assembly Ways and Means Committee on February 16.

 

 

 

Nevada Policy Research Institute Targets NV PERS

RPEN has obtained a document being used by NPRI in a fundraising attempt that names NV PERS many times in an effort to once again target PERS as another legislative session fast approaches. The document was given to RPEN anonymously. All public employees, those retired as well as those still working, need to be alarmed by this document, that can be viewed by clicking on the link below.

 

NPRI TARGETS NV PERS

 

NPRI also recently filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in Carson City seeking the release of data requested from PERS in a format that is more usable for NPRI, which maintains a searchable online database of public employee salary and benefit information. In the document NPRI said it requested data about pension payouts last year to add to a website it maintains called Transparent Nevada. They said they received a report that listed pension payouts not by retiree name but by Social Security number, which by law must be redacted. NPRI complained this information leaves nothing more than a list of payments to unknown individuals. NPRI also said in their complaint a 2015 Nevada Supreme Court decision indicates that agencies are not excused from their disclosure duties if they have a computer program that could compile the information. The request for information from NV PERS started several years ago with a request from the Reno Gazette Journal. A hearing date for this latest effort has not been set.

 

 

For more information about Nevada PERS please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.

http://www.nvpers.org/

 

 

 

Nevada Deferred Comp

 

The next meeting for the Nevada Deferred Compensation Committee is January 26 at 8:30 a.m., and will be held in Carson City at the Governor's Office of Economic Development at 808 West Nye Lane in the Conference Room. To view an agenda for this meeting, please click on the link below:

 

http://defcomp.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/defcompnvgov/content/Meetings/2017-01-26NDCAgenda.pdf

 

For more information about Nevada Deferred Comp please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.

 

http://defcomp.nv.gov/

 

RPEN LEGISLATIVE ALERTS

79TH SESSION OF THE

NEVADA STATE LEGISLATURE

TO VIEW PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW:

 

021017 LEGISLATIVE ALERT I

021717 LEGISLATIVE ALERT II

 

We encourage our members to visit our website on a regular basis, especially during the legislative session, as we will be posting regular "Legislative Updates/Alerts" throughout the 120 day session. We also will be posting this same information on our Facebook page.

Terri Laird, Executive Director

 

To go straight to the Nevada Legislative website now, please click on the link below:

http://www.leg.state.nv.us/

 

(ALSO SEE THE LINK "LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS" ON OUR HOME PAGE FOR ADDITIONAL LEGISLATIVE INFORMATION)

 

Now that you know about some of our issues going into the 79th Session of the Nevada State Legislature, perhaps you would like to reach out to your elected officals in one way or another, but don't know how to do so. Our Lead Lobbyist/Legislative Advocate Marlene Lockard wants to help! Through her lobbying agency, The Lockard Group, she has prepared a list of helpful lobbying tips. To view the document, please click on the link below:

 

2017 Interacting with Legislators by TLG

 

RPEN often sends out emails and notices through different channels to our members when we need to "pack" a meeting room when our issues are being heard at the Legislature, and by reviewing Marlene's well thought out document, you will be ready when the need arises!


 

 

Retired Public Employees of Nevada (RPEN) Executive Committee Will Meet Again June 28 and 29 in Summerlin

 

 

The Executive Committee of RPEN decided at their last meeting January 17-18 in Carson City that they would come together again June 28-29 at the Sun Coast Hotel/Casino in Summerlin, which will also serve as our host hotel for our annual meeting in the early fall. There were two properties in the south vying for our business, but the Sun Coast offered the best location. RPEN's newest chapter, the Summerlin Chapter, will be hosting our annual meeting, set for September 19-22.

 

 

 

 

* Legislative meetings can also be seen/heard live over the Internet at: www.leg.state.nv.us Just go to that Web site and click on Listen to Meetings Live on the Internet

 

2/20/2017