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Nevada may save millions with switch to state-based program

Nevada’s health insurance marketplace, the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, is one step closer to transitioning onto a state-based operation.

A $24.4 million, five-year contract with vendor GetInsured is set to save the state around $6 million annually starting in 2020 compared to using the federal enrollment platform, Healthcare.gov.

The exchange board voted unanimously at a Thursday meeting to approve the step.

The move, contingent upon state approval at the Aug. 14 Board of Examiners meeting, would take effect in the 2019 enrollment period for plan year 2020, when projected costs for running on the federal platform would hit $12 million a year, said Exchange Executive Director Heather Korbulic.

“Essentially, we’ve agreed to a flat fee less than $5 million annually,” Korbulic said Friday. “That’s both for the technology and enrollment system, and also for the consumer system center.”

The switch will mean greater responsibility on the part of the state exchange — consumer complaint resolution and appeal litigation will fall in the state’s lap, for example — but will also grant the state greater access to consumer demographic data, aiding the organization in creating targeted marketing for hard-to-enroll consumers, Korbulic said.

The exchange closed its request for proposals process in April, eventually choosing GetInsured as the vendor to run the state-based website. GetInsured operates in state-based exchanges in six other states, including Idaho, Korbulic said.

“So they’ve got a proven track record,” she said — important after Nevada’s partnership with Xerox failed in 2014.

If approved by the Board of Examiners, the health exchange will employ a team of project managers, including two new employees, to plan data migration from Healthcare.gov to the new state site.

They’ll test the product starting at the beginning of 2019 through May before it rolls out that fall.

If it fails: “We will remain on healthcare.gov until we can get it to be a go,” Korbulic said. And if that happens, they’re prepared to pay the $12 million price tag.

Contact Jessie Bekker at jbekker@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Follow @jessiebekks on Twitter.

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