Exchange Approves 4.2% Increase In Rates For 2021
Source: Pahrump Valley Times, by Tom Rysinski
The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, which connects Nevadans to qualified health plans through Nevada Health Link, announced the approved exchange health insurance rates for Plan Year 2021 at an increase of 4.2 percent.
An increase in finalized rates also means an increase in subsidies to help eligible Nevadans cover monthly premium costs. Nevada Health Link is the only place consumers can access federal financial assistance to help offset the costs of insurance, and four out of five applicants who purchase a plan through the exchange are eligible for financial assistance.
The open enrollment period for Plan Year 2021 will run from Nov. 1, 2020 through Jan. 15, 2021, giving consumers an additional 30 days to enroll. Those who enroll by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31 will have health insurance coverage effective Jan. 1, 2021; those who enroll between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15 will have coverage effective Feb. 1, 2021.
Nevada Health Link will offer up to 50 individual QHPs through five insurance carriers, including Health Plan of Nevada, SilverSummit and Anthem HMO Co., returning carriers who offered plans on the exchange last year. Two new carriers joining Nevada Health Link this year include Friday Health Plans and SelectHealth, increasing the number of qualified plans to 50, nearly doubling the previous open enrollment period.
All 50 plans are available to Nevada residents in Clark County and Nye County from all five insurance carriers; 45 plans are available in Washoe County from HPN, SilverSummit, Anthem HMO Co. and Friday Health Plans; and 35 plans are available in Carson City and in Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and White Pine counties from SilverSummit, Anthem HMO Co. and Friday Health Plans.
Six carriers will offer 21 qualified dental plans statewide. They include Alpha, EMI, Delta, Liberty, Best and Rocky Mountain.
“This year, we are excited to offer Nevadans more choices, 50 additional health plans to meet their family’s health needs,” said Heather Korbulic, executive director of Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. “We want to emphasize that while rates have slightly increased, so do the subsidies which help pay for monthly premiums. Nevada Health Link continues to be the only place consumers can access subsidies, so I encourage both current and new enrollees to visit us online starting in October to window shop for a comprehensive health plan in advance of the November 1 enrollment start date.
“Nevada Health Link will offer an additional 30 days to enroll and purchase a plan this year. There is really no excuse to go without health insurance. Today, more than ever, access to health care is important for everyone, regardless of age, income or health status.”
The upcoming OEP is Nevada Health Link’s second since it completed the transition away from HealthCare.gov in 2019. As an SBE, Nevada Health Link now has full autonomy and access to all its functions, eligibility, and data to better serve consumers. Recently, as the pandemic intensified, Nevada Health Link was able to offer Nevadans an Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period to enroll in a QHP – another benefit of being a state-based exchange.
In collaboration with stakeholders, community partners and other state agencies, Nevada Health Link continues to put in place best practices to serve consumers in the current health care landscape of the novel coronavirus. This includes opportunities to enroll virtually and with the assistance of qualified brokers and navigators who can walk consumers through the process via telephone, all while maintaining a safe social distance.
Nevada Health Link’s qualified health plans cover the ten essential health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act, including covering pre-existing conditions. This includes emergency and ambulatory services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, lab services and mental health services, to name a few. Consumers should know that care related to COVID-19 is covered by all plans offered through Nevada Health Link.