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77K sign up for health insurance through Nevada’s online exchange

Updated December 24, 2019 - 4:20 pm

Nevada’s state-run health insurance marketplace reported that more than 77,000 people signed up for coverage next year through the website.

The numbers, reflecting the first time people have signed up through the state’s new online marketplace, Nevada Health Link, represent a 7.4 percent decrease from last year’s preliminary sign-up total of 83,600.

Nevada had been relying for several years on Healthcare.gov, the federal website set up under former President Barack Obama’s health care law, to allow people to shop for insurance online. But Nevada officials decided this year to move to a state-run system to save money, improve service and track data better.

The online health insurance marketplaces allow people who don’t get insurance through their job to shop for coverage and enroll in a plan.

Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, the agency that runs Nevada’s website, said nearly 66,000 people who had previously signed up for coverage on the federal website were moved to Nevada’s website. The 66,000 figure is lower than last year’s preliminary total because it reflects those who not only enrolled for coverage but also followed through and made payments, said Heather Korbulic, executive director of the exchange

Korbulic expects that this year’s numbers will increase as people who have been denied Medicaid coverage opt to enroll for insurance on the exchange. These individuals, who currently number about 20,000 in Nevada, have 60 days to enroll from their date of denial.

Three insurers — Health Plan of Nevada, SilverSummit and Anthem HMO Co — offered 27 health plans for consumers in Clark, Nye and Washoe counties to choose from. Smaller counties had fewer options.

Open enrollment for 2020 coverage has closed, but residents who lose their insurance, get married, have a child or move can become eligible to sign up next year.

Review-Journal staff writer Mary Hynes and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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