weather icon Clear

2 more providers agree to participate on Nevada’s health insurance exchange

Subsidiaries of two major health insurers — Aetna Inc. and Centene Corp. — have agreed to join Nevada’s Affordable Care Act-created health insurance exchange, even as Congress takes steps that could lead to its demise.

Aetna Better Health of Nevada and Silver Summit Health Plan, two of the four providers selected by the state to offer managed care services to Nevadans enrolled in Medicaid, consented in contracts to offer plans on the exchange, Tammy Ritter of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday. The timeline for doing so isn’t yet clear, she said.

Aetna had no immediate comment on the news, while Centene could not be reached late Thursday.

Of the other selected Medicaid managed care providers, Health Plan of Nevada already offers plans through the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, as does the parent company of selected provider Amerigroup.

Managed care providers contract with the state to deliver health benefits and related services to Medicaid enrollees.

Nevada previously required the providers to offer at least one Silver-level plan on the exchange. Ritter, chief of managed care and quality in the health department’s Division of Health Care Financing and Policy, said this year’s contracts dropped the requirement but still encouraged providers to offer such a plan. All four selected providers agreed to do so, she said.

The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange declined to comment, with spokeswoman Janel Davis saying only that nothing has been finalized for 2018.

“We obviously look forward to working with them and the partnership if that were to happen,” she said.

Any additions would stand in contrast to the national trend of insurers dropping out of ACA insurance exchanges. Nevada hasn’t seen that type of uncertainty in its market since 2015, when the Nevada Health CO-OP announced it would shut down — part of a wave of co-op failures nationwide.

Since then, three insurers have remained on the exchange: Health Plan of Nevada, Prominence Health Plan and Anthem, parent company of Amerigroup.

Critics of the ACA say many Nevadans still have little choice, since only Anthem offers coverage in all Nevada counties.

Republicans in Congress are currently working on legislation to repeal the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare, and replace it with an as-yet-unclear mix of existing provisions and new offerings that they say will guarantee “universal access” to health care and coverage. It’s not clear how that will impact the state exchanges, but many ACA proponents say they cannot survive without the insurance mandate, widely expected to be eliminated.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data Wednesday showing enrollment in ACA plans is up by more than 9,200 enrollees in Nevada compared to the same time last year, jumping from 76,368 enrollees to 85,640 after nine weeks of enrollment.

Contact Pashtana Usufzy at pusufzy@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Find @pashtana_u on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Henderson Hospital staff, patients reunited

Henderson Hospital celebrated its first anniversary by inviting all former neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients and their families to reunite.

Validity of Obama health care law at issue in court hearing

An appeals court was to hear arguments Tuesday on whether Congress effectively invalidated former President Barack Obama’s entire signature health care law when it zeroed out the tax imposed on those who chose not to buy insurance.