According to the Nevada Appeal, effective September 1, 2008, only those public employee groups that have their active members in the state plan can send their retirees to the state. At present, any public retiree can join the state plan whether or not his government or school district is in the plan, according to the report.
Additionally, lawmakers ruled the local governments where those retirees worked must subsidize those retiree premiums to at least the same degree the state subsidizes its retirees. The report noted that lawmakers who created the new rules said they did so because local governments and school districts were reducing or eliminating coverage for retirees and dumping them on the state. Lawmakers said effective next year, the rule is “all in or all out.”
The new law is pushing large numbers of experienced public workers at local governments and school districts to consider early retirement so they can get in the state plan before that deadline.
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police has refused to pay the subsidy for its state plan retirees, saying their benefits are provided through a collectively bargained trust, which puts them outside the statute requiring the subsidy. The Nevada Appeal notes that a Las Vegas judge agreed, but the plan has appealed that judgment.
That case is scheduled for argument before the Nevada Supreme Court on January 24.