Las Vegas Sun

January 20, 2018

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Nevada cutting wellness insurance plan for government employees

CARSON CITY — Public employees enrolled in a state wellness insurance plan designed to keep participants healthy are going to be hit with a big increase in premiums in 2015.

Senate and Assembly committees agreed Tuesday to cancel the wellness portion in the state Employees Benefit Program, saving $9.4 million.

There are an estimated 65,000 state and local government employees and retirees enrolled in the insurance program. Those who signed up for the wellness program receive a $50 a month break in their premiums.

Jim Wells, director of the insurance plan, said the change would affect about 11,000 workers who would have to pay $50 more a month in premiums.

Assemblyman Randal Kirner, former chairman of the board for the insurance system, questioned whether the program was working. It was sold to the state with the promise of cutting down on medical claims.

But, so far, there are no statistics to show a reduced number of medical bills.

“Next year, they won’t get the credit,” said Wells, commenting on the decision of the Senate Finance Committee and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee.

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