New numbers show Nevadans have been slow to jump into the state’s health insurance exchange.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported Wednesday that 23,248 Nevadans bought coverage through Nevada Health Link in the first month of open enrollment, from Nov. 1 through Saturday.
That’s roughly half of the 40,285 residents who bought a plan through the exchange in the first month of sign-ups a year ago.
Federal officials said enrollment should pick up as the Dec. 15 deadline nears to buy a plan with a Jan. 1 start date.
Last year’s enrollment period started two weeks later, on Nov. 15, so the first month included the last-minute rush of consumers looking to get a plan in place by Dec. 15.
Nevada ended the prior open-enrollment session on Feb. 15 with 72,127 enrollees. The current period ends Jan. 31. Consumers without coverage in place by then face a federal tax for going without health insurance.
Nationally, 2 million people signed up in the first month, compared with more than 4 million in the same period a year ago.