The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), Nevada’s state agency that helps individuals obtain budget-appropriate health coverage through the online marketplace, Nevada Health Link, continues to offer affordable health plans, amidst the increase in individual market premium rates affecting the current 2018 open enrollment period, which runs through December 15 this year.
“Many Nevadans can find extremely affordable health plans that will cost them nearly nothing each month, thanks to the assistance of subsidies,” said Heather Korbulic, executive director of the Exchange. “The majority of residents who undergo the enrollment process are finding that they qualify for these subsidies, but there remains a significant number of uninsured residents who also qualify but haven’t enrolled, leaving themselves and their families vulnerable to the steep costs of medical care. The Exchange’s scope of coverage continues to be competitive, providing more value for the dollar and more peace of mind for Nevadans.”
According to the Division of Insurance, the average approved rate increase for Health Plan of Nevada, one of two carriers offering plans through Nevada Health Link, is 36.8 percent – a considerable increase that is a direct result of federal instability and uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act. But nearly 85 percent of Exchange consumers have access to financial assistance to help pay for their monthly premiums; and while rates have increased, so has financial assistance, resulting in minimal to no impact for Nevada residents seeking health insurance plans. By enrolling in a low to no cost monthly plan, Nevadans are ensuring coverage for themselves, receive preventative care and limit the maximum out-of-pocket costs, ultimately saving themselves from being at risk for an IRS penalty, which is $695 or 2.5% of an individual’s household income for not having health insurance. Because the Nevada Exchange recognizes that purchasing health coverage can be an intimidating process, consumers are offered access to beneficial tools available to them on NevadaHealthLink.com. They are encouraged to see if they qualify for subsidies by taking the prescreener and using the cost comparison tool online.
This year, Open Enrollment is November 1 through December 15, six weeks shorter than in years past. It is important to remember that certain changes in an individual’s life can make them eligible for a special enrollment period (SEP) and allow them to enroll at any time during the year. Examples of qualifying life events are: loss of employer-based coverage, changes in income, and changes in family size through marriage, divorce or the birth of a child. To find out if you’re eligible, visit NevadaHealthLink.com.