Amid a slew of cuts attempting to mitigate projected budget shortfalls in a state largely dependent on tourism and gaming for revenue, state employees are protesting proposed changes that would reduce health care coverage options provided by the state.

The proposed cuts in the Nevada Public Employees’ Benefits Program (PEBP) budget would reduce life insurance benefits from $25,000 for an active employee to $15,000 and from $12,500 for a retiree to $7,500, eliminate long-term disability insurance and lower Medicare Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) contributions from $13 to $11 a month per year of service. Though Gov. in his State of the State addresstouted only a 2 percent state budget cut, programs such as PEBP are feeling the cuts more deeply than others.

The proposed cuts will affect worker retention and place an undue burden on essential workers who rely on long-term disability coverage as a safety net, College of Southern Nevada professor Maria Schellhase said during a Monday meeting of a legislative budget subcommittee.

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