Nevada High Court Hears Health Insurance Case

A legal dispute that could have a major impact on access to health care for thousands of retired local government workers has been argued before the Nevada Supreme Court.

The court has been asked to decide whether local government retirees who worked for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department are eligible to join the state-administered insurance plan to receive their health care coverage.

If they're eligible to join the state Public Employees Benefits Program, the court will clarify whether the state can require the local government agency to pay a subsidy to help cover the cost of providing the health insurance coverage.

The state program, which handles health insurance for state employees and retirees as well as participants from some local governments, brought the appeal, seeking to overturn a lower court ruling that found Metro did not have to pay the subsidy.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-01-25-08 1614EST