CARSON CITY — Rep. Dina Titus sent a letter to Gov. Brian Sandoval on Tuesday urging him to decide quickly on whether to approve a one-year extension on health insurance policies that do not meet the requirements of the new federal health care law.
The Nevada Democrat said other states have already decided whether to offer the policies for another year to those who have received cancellation or non-renewal notices. Some have decided to allow the policies to continue, others have not.
Massachusetts, Washington and four other states have decided not to allow insurance companies to offer the plans. Hawaii, Florida, Texas and two other states have opted to allow the plans to be offered.
Nearly 25,000 Nevadans have received such notices as well, according to the state Division of Insurance.
President Barack Obama last week announced that insurance companies would be allowed to offer renewals of their current policies to existing customers without adopting the 2014 rule changes because of the large number of cancellation notices sent out nationwide.
Titus said she is not attempting to tell Sandoval what to do, only that a decision needs to be made quickly because a Dec. 15 deadline is fast approaching.
“People need to know so they can decide how to proceed,” she said. “I’m not telling him what to do. I respect his work on this. He knows better than anyone what the decision should be.”
A statement from Sandoval’s office said that he has not yet reviewed Titus’ letter.
“That said, the Division of Insurance continues to evaluate the president’s proposal to ensure any decision complies with state and federal law,” the statement concluded.
Titus said if the decision is to not offer the policies, consumers can shop for new coverage at Nevada’s insurance exchange at NevadaHealthLink. If the decision is to allow the policies to be sold, then consumers have a year to make the transition to policies that meet the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, she said.
Titus’ letter comes even after her vote last week in opposition to a House measure that would change the law to allow the policies to continue to be sold. The measure passed 261-157 with 39 Democrats in support. It has no chance of success in the Senate.
Titus, who said she remains a supporter of the health care law, voted no because the bill went further than allowing those with cancellation notices to keep their policies for another year. The measure would allow the policies to be sold to new customers as well, which would undermine the health care law, she said.
Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at email@example.com or 775-687-3900. Follow him on Twitter @seanw801.