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The Public Employees Benefits Program (PEBP)
PEBP BOARD MEETING
SEPTEMBER 27, 2018
It was a fairly short meeting, for the Public Employees’ Benefits Program (PEBP) Board, all things considered, but there were two important facts that came out of the meeting Thursday, September 27.
PEBP Executive Officer Damon Haycock led a discussion at the end of the agenda, involving possible direction from the Board to staff on potential program design changes for Plan Year 2020 (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020). One of the items on the list of “options and opportunities” Haycock discussed was to stop paying Medicare Exchange HRA fees and Life Insurance Premiums from excess reserves. As an explanation for the proposal, Haycock said excess reserves may be better applied to employee benefits (HSA/HRA funding, disease management, etc.) since employees hired after 2012 will never receive an employer contribution to their retiree healthcare and they are currently helping to cover those expenses. Later in the discussion, when pressed, Haycock said those costs amount to just under $10.00 per member and there are roughly 19,157 state employees who have that amount taken out of their paychecks. Of that number, Haycock said a little more than 11-thousand were hired after 2012 and will never receive the retiree healthcare contributions. PEBP Vice-Chair and Retiree Representative on the board (also an RPEN member) voiced concern about the proposal, calling it a “loaded gun”. During public comment on the item RPEN Executive Director Terri Laird (filling in for Legislative Advocate Marlene Lockard who was called to jury duty) read a statement opposing such a proposal, telling the board that the restoration of those retiree healthcare contributions for that group hired after 2012 was an item on RPEN’s Legislative Agenda for the 80th Legislative Session that begins in February 2019. She also said RPEN has mostly retiree members but added we also represent all public employees, including actives, and so we are concerned about both groups and didn’t like seeing the two groups pitted against each other. Laird’s comments were backed up by additional public comment from Priscilla Maloney, the retiree representative for AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees); Kevin Ranft the actives representative for AFSCME and Kent Ervin representing actives in the Nevada Faculty Alliance. Haycock said no action was required on the proposals considered at this meeting, but said additional information including actual costs involved will be available at the board’s November 29th meeting.
In another bit of news before the PEBP Board, Jon Hager, from Hometown Health informed the board that they would not be terminating their contract with PEBP. Hager said they have been a valued client of PEBP’s for 20 years until discussion in the spring of this year that PEBP was going to reach out to other hospitals in Northern Nevada (St. Mary’s and Carson Tahoe) to offer their participants choice. Hometown Health felt it had an exclusive contract with PEBP and balked at the idea, eventually telling PEBP during an open meeting that they would be terminating their existing contract and going with a new RFP (request for proposal) with the agency. But during this meeting, Hager said the turmoil from the spring appeared to have abated and there didn’t seem to be a need any longer to terminate their agreement and would not be going forward with any termination. Before the meeting closed Haycock told the board he still had some reservations about Hager’s announcement due to the up and down negotiations they had with Hometown Health in recent months.
PEBP BOARD MEETS AGAIN JULY 26
This next meeting for the Public Employees’ Benefits Program will be Thursday, July 26. It will be held in Carson City at the Nevada State Legislative Building, 401 South Carson Street in Room 1214. A video-conference of the meeting will be available in Las Vegas at the Tahoe Room, Suite 430 of the Nevada State Business Center, 3300 W. Sahara Ave.
To view the agenda for this meeting please click on the link below:
To view notes from the April 27 Board meeting please click on the link below:
To view what transpired at the PEBP Board’s March 22 meeting, please click on a link below:
PEBP also posts a Quarterly Newsletter online at their website. To view the latest issue (April 2018), please click on the link below.
Read up on everything that we have to help you after retirement.
INTERIM RETIREMENT AND BENEFITS COMMITTEE MEETING FEBRUARY 22 WAS WELL ATTENDED BY RPEN MEMBERS!
The meeting was held in Room 4401 of the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas, at 555 E. Washington Ave., and video-conferenced to Room 3138 of the Nevada State Legislative Building in Carson City. There were five RPEN members in Carson City from three chapters, Fernley, Carson and Washoe as well as fourteen RPEN members in Las Vegas from four chapters, Henderson, Las Vegas, Summerlin and Boulder City. To view highlights of the meeting, click on the link below.
The IRBC generally meets twice per year during non-Legislative years to consider issues involving the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and Public Employees’ Benefits Program (PEBP). This was their first meeting since the Legislature ended last June. The Committee consists of the following lawmakers:
Senator Ben Kieckhefer (District 16/Northern Nevada)
Senator Julia Ratti ((District 13/Northern Nevada)
Senator Joyce Woodhouse (District 5/Southern Nevada)
Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton (District 14/Southern Nevada)
Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz (District 11/Southern Nevada)
PEBP AND VIA BENEFITS WORK TOGETHER TO OFFER ONSITE SERVICES TO MEDICARE RETIREES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
PEBP’s Medicare retirees who are already enrolled at Via Benefits (formerly Towers Watson’s OneExchange) will have the opportunity to schedule an appointment to meet with an Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) Specialist in Carson City, Reno and Las Vegas during July, August and September of 2018. Assistance will be available for such issues as how to use the HRA to request reimbursement for monthly medical, dental, prescription drug and vision plan premiums, or qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses such as co-pays, prescription glasses and dental expenses. Assistance with filling out claim forms or how to enroll in auto-reimbursement will also be offered.
Appointments are available in Las Vegas August 13-14 and September 10-11 at the Nevada State Business Center, 3300 W. Sahara Ave., Red Rock Room, Suite 440. That location will also be available
Appointment will be available in Reno August 15 and September 12 at Truckee Meadows Community College’s Meadowood Center, 475 Edison Way, Room MDWS 105.
Appointments are available in Carson City August 16-17 and September 13-14 at the PEBP Board Room, Suite 1002 of the Richard Bryan Building.
Call 1-844-266-1395 ASAP to schedule your appointment!
If you have additional questions about these meetings please contact a Member Services Representative at PEBP, 775-684-7000.
For additional information about PEBP, please visit their web-site by clicking on the link below.
Some of RPEN’s efforts have contributed to constitutional protections of our PERS system, post-retirement increases to retiree pension benefits and an awareness of the importance of a solvent, sound retirement system.
Supreme Court Rules in NPRI vs NV PERS Oct 18
It was heard seven months ago, and many were speculating that the Supreme Court wouldn’t issue a ruling in the “NPRI (Nevada Policy Research Institute) vs Nevada PERS” (Public Employees’ Retirement System) case until after the November 6 election. Well, that rumor was dispelled when the high court issued their decision October 18, 2018. It was a 4-3 decision with Justices Mark W. Gibbons, Michael Cherry, Kristina Pickering and Chief Justice Michael Douglas concurring on arguments presented by NPRI at the March 7 hearing in the case. A dissenting opinion was rendered by Lidia Stiglich, James Hardesty and Ron Parraguiree who were concerned about implications this ruling will have on Nevada’s Public Records Act, that could expose official state records otherwise declared confidential to agency search simply because they are stored in a computer. NPRI has been seeking five things from PERS as it relates to retired public employees: names, years of service credit, gross pension benefit amount, year of retirement and last employer, over and above what was originally sought by Reno Newspapers Inc. in 2011.
RPEN tried to solve the dilemma relating to what is and is not confidential information by seeking a legislative solution through Senate Bill 384 in 2017, sponsored by Senator Julia Ratti of Sparks. That bill passed in the Senate and Assembly but in the end was vetoed by Governor. Due to the 4-3 decision today, there is a possibility the bill could be resurrected at the 2019 Legislative Session now that this ruling has been issued. Senator Ratti has told RPEN she would be willing to re-introduce the measure. The success or failure of another legislative bill however will greatly depend upon the November 6 election and who becomes Nevada’s next Governor.
Public Employees Retirement System of Nevada (PERS)
The next meeting of the PERS Board will be in Las Vegas on July 19 and will be held in the PERS Board Room located at 5740 South Eastern Avenue, Suite 120. An agenda for this meeting is posted below.
RPEN Annual Convention Coming to Sparks, Nevada in September
The next gathering for our Board of Directors is September 18-21 at the Sparks Nugget where RPEN’s Annual Convention will be hosted jointly by our Sparks and Washoe Chapters.
The annual convention will include workshops, our popular Legislative Panel and special awards.
For additional information on RPEN business, please contact the State Office at 1-775-882-7832, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
All of the important links to keep you informed of anything that can be going on within the retirement community.