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50 plans now offered on Nevada health exchange for uninsured

Beginning this week, uninsured Nevadans can enroll for health coverage on the state-operated exchange, which this year features more carriers and plans. The enrollment period began Sunday and extends through Jan. 15.

Insurance plans are available through online marketplace Nevada Health Link to those who don’t qualify for Medicaid or Medicare or don’t have insurance through an employer.

“I don’t think that it comes as any surprise to anybody during this COVID era, there’s never been a more important time to connect to comprehensive health care,” Heather Korbulic, executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, said during an online briefing Monday with reporters.

The 50 plans on the exchange, nearly twice as many as last year, cover COVID-19-related testing and diagnosis, she said.

They are all so-called qualified health plans, which encompass the 10 essential health benefits, including coverage of pre-existing conditions, mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Dental and vision plans also are available.

Friday Health Plans and SelectHealth this year join returning carriers Health Plan of Nevada, SilverSummit (Ambetter) and Anthem HMO Co in offering plans.

Four out of five of those enrolled on the exchange typically receive a subsidy to lower premiums. In 2020, the average out-of-pocket premium cost on the exchange was $186 per month, Korbulic said last month, noting that some people paid nothing at all because of subsidies. There are about 77,000 residents currently purchasing insurance on the exchange.

During the briefing, Gov. Steve Sisolak said that 100,000 eligible residents remain without insurance. He described health insurance as the “foundation to well-being, regardless of age, income or life circumstance.”

Those who enroll by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31 will have health insurance coverage effective Jan. 1. Those who enroll between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15 will have coverage effective Feb. 1.

This is the second year that Nevada has operated its own exchange under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The challenge to the act that will be heard later this month by the U.S. Supreme Court will have no bearing on exchange coverage in 2021, Korbulic said.

Korbulic and Sisolak were joined in the briefing by Nevada Democratic U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen and state Attorney General Aaron Ford, all of whom stressed the importance of preserving the Affordable Care Act.

To enroll in a Nevada Health Link plan, visit NevadaHealthLink.com or call 800-547-2927.

Contact Mary Hynes at mhynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @MaryHynes1 on Twitter.

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