More Nevadans Qualify For Health Insurance Subsidies Through American Rescue Plan

The American Rescue Plan could have big impacts for people who have a health insurance plan through Nevada Health Link. President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus package into law in March. Part of the money will offer financial assistance for health insurance on the exchange.

“Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, there is no lid anymore on who’s eligible for subsidies,” Heather Korbulic, Executive Director of Silver State Health Insurance Exchange said. “So many of those folks who were stuck at that subsidy cliff, those people over 400 percent of the federal poverty level who were not previously eligible for subsidies are now eligible and for significant financial assistance.”

People who are collecting unemployment insurance qualify for even more assistance. They can choose an insurance plan at no cost.

“No matter what your income is, you can get a zero dollar plan on the exchange right now for the rest of this year just by clicking a box that tells us you’re on unemployment insurance,” Korbulic said.

Approximately 400,000 Nevadans were uninsured prior to the pandemic. About 120,000 of those qualified for a plan on the exchange. That is possibly because the price of insurance is so high.

“Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, that’s not the same anymore,” Korbulic said. “There are affordable and comprehensive options available to almost every Nevadan.”

Korbulic hopes the financial assistance will decrease those numbers and says every Nevadans should have some kind of coverage.

“There’s absolutely no excuse. If you’re not eligible for the exchange, you’re most likely eligible for Medicaid,” Korbulic said. “Taking a risk on your health during a pandemic emphasized even more the need to make sure you’re connected because you could be financially devastated with one hospital visit.”

When people think about the health insurance exchange, they might think about subsidies but Korbulic says it is a lot more than that because it offers protections.

“No discrimination based on pre-existing conditions and the same community rating for everybody and expanded Medicaid,” Korbulic said.

The Affordable Care Act took effect 11 years ago. Since then, it has faced legal challenges that landed in the Supreme Court. Last week, the ACA survived its latest challenge when the court struck down the latest question of its constitutionality in a 7-2 opinion.

“The decision by the Supreme Court was basically fundamental to keeping the Affordable Care Act in our state,” Korbulic said. “There are hundreds of thousands of Nevadans who benefit from the Affordable Care Act and that decision made it so that that law is intact and they have nothing to worry about anymore.”

Last month, the state passed a public option for health insurance. The goal is to decrease Nevada’s 11 percent uninsured rate. The law takes effect in 2026. The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange is the lead agency to implement the policy. It is working with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Division of Insurance to analyze if it provides savings for Nevadans and apply for federal waivers.

For now, Korbulic says people should take advantage of the subsidies offered through the American Rescue Plan. People can sign up for health insurance on Nevada Health Link through August 15. That will provide coverage for the rest of the year.


Source Link