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Nevada state employees reject cuts to health care in budget

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Posted at 12:10 AM, Jan 23, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — After reviewing Gov. Steve Sisolak’s budget executive summary, including the recommended for changes to the health care plans offered through the Public Employees Benefits Program, Harry Schiffman, an electrician at UNLV and president of AFSCME Local 4041, released the following statement:

"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevada state employees have gone above and beyond to ensure the continuation of services our communities depend on to live healthy and productive lives. While Governor Sisolak recognizes the need to prioritize the health and wellbeing of state employees, no one deserves to see their health care cut during a pandemic.

The proposed changes to the Public Employees Benefit Program puts state workers in a position to pay more out-of-pocket for our health care needs. While premiums will stay relatively flat, or in some cases lower, the real damage is in the details – the plans in this proposal cut our health care coverage, slash our Basic Life Insurance, and eliminate Long Term Disability Insurance.

Workers on the CDHP plan, the plan in which most state employees are enrolled, will see increased deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, and a reduced employer match to their Health Savings Account in this proposal.

Workers on the EPO/HMO plans, a popular plan for state employees in Northern Nevada, will pay more out-of-pocket with a new deductible and coinsurance, introduced for the first time this year.

The proposal cuts Basic Life Insurance coverage by almost half and completely removes Long-Term Disability coverage. These cuts put Nevada state employees, who don’t have Social Security protections, in real jeopardy.

These are significant cuts to our health plans, forcing more out-of-pocket costs and putting needed health care services out of reach for thousands of front-line heroes.

Members of AFSCME Local 4041 ask the PEBP board, Governor Sisolak and the Legislature to reconsider the proposed cuts to our health care coverage.”