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Obamacare Marketplace Profile: Nevada’s Health Insurance Exchange

Obamacare Marketplace Profile: Nevada’s Health Insurance Exchange

Posted Aug 29, 2013 by Jenifer Dorsey

Exchange name: Silver State Health Insurance Exchange is the state agency created to oversee Nevada Health Link, the online marketplace through which Nevadans can purchase health insurance.

Website: www.nevadahealthlink.com

State-based or federally run: The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange is among the 17 declared state-based health insurance exchanges, which include Washington, D.C. The exchange structure is quasi-governmental, which means it is an independent public agency.

Plans:Nevada has yet to release information about the plans that will be available through Nevada Health Link. No state is required to make plan designs and rates public until the marketplace opens for 2014 enrollment on Oct. 1, 2013. Nevada’s health insurance marketplace follows a clearinghouse model, which means all plans that meet minimum federal requirements for qualified health plans may be sold on the exchange.

In June, Nevada Health Link announced that the following agencies received grants to serve as navigators and enrollment assistors to help Nevadans sign up for health insurance through the online marketplace in October:

  • Inter-tribal Council of Nevada (ITCN) (Statewide)
  • Know Your Care (Statewide)
  • The Children’s Cabinet (Statewide)
  • Great Basin Primary Care (Northern Nevada)
  • Consumer Assistance and Resource Enterprise (CARE) (Southern Nevada)
  • East Valley Family Services (Southern Nevada)
  • Latin Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation (Southern Nevada)
  • Richard Allen Community Outreach (Southern Nevada)

As with other states, Nevada’s health plans must meet Obamacare’s metal level requirements—bronze, silver, gold and platinum—and include benefits in the 10 categories of essential health benefits and preventive care at no additional cost. A catastrophic plan will also be available to those who qualify, which include those younger than 30 or those who get a hardship exemption because they cannot afford health coverage through the marketplace.

Obamacare requires that pediatric dental and vision coverage be embedded into or bundled into qualified health insurance plans or sold as a stand-alone plan on state-run and federally operated marketplaces. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Nevada state exchange profile, Nevada will require all children enrolled in a qualified health plan through Nevada Health Link to purchase the pediatric essential health benefits. It is not apparent at this time whether or not Nevada Health Link will sell adult dental plans.

When planning for 2014, Nevadans and consumers in other states should consider the big when it comes to paying for health care expenses. That means thinking about additional coverage such as dental insurance, critical illness insurance, and/or a bundled gap plan that includes coverages such as accident medical expense insurance and accident disability income insurance. Supplemental insurance is not available through state-based or federally operated health insurance exchanges; however, this coverage easy to obtain directly from the plan’s carrier or a licensed agent or broker.

Rates: While some states have released their Obamacare premium rates, or at least sample rates, Nevada has not yet done so. What we do know is that under the Affordable Care Act Americans cannot be denied coverage or charged more due to preexisting conditions. Premium rates will be established based on age, geography, family size and tobacco use. These provisions apply whether plans are purchased via the marketplace or not. Plans purchased off the marketplace will not qualify for subsidies or tax credits.

You can use the healthedeals.com Health Care Reform Calculator, which was listed among The Financial Times “Best Online Tools for the Toughest Health Questions,” to estimate your Obamacare health insurance cost and tax credit.

Marketing campaign: Nevada is taking a less playful and splashy approach than others in promoting the new health insurance exchange. The state is using $8.2 million in federal funds to raise awareness about its exchange through digital messaging, radio and print advertising that feature the real words of real Nevadans. It targets the nearly 592,600 Nevadans without health insurance coverage—a group that spans population segments. The campaign’s creators have called the tone “straightforward” and “serious.”

In the news:

Nevada has also started selling ads on its exchange website as a way to generate revenue and prevent charging user fees, thus keeping costs low for consumers. The Affordable Care Act requires that each state marketplace must be financially self-sustaining by 2015. At the time of this post, no other states had followed Nevada’s decision to sell ads.

Need coverage now?

If you need health insurance to get you by until January 1, 2014, a temporary insurance plan can provide coverage for as few as 30 days. Start shopping healthedeals.com or contact a Health eDeals sales consultant for more information on short-term health insurance and supplemental plans.

Jenifer Dorsey is a freelance writer whose specialties include health and fitness, wellness, sports and recreation. She is a competitive amateur track cyclist who also enjoys mountain biking, hiking, camping and other outdoor adventure. Jenifer received a B.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and is an MFA candidate at Naropa University. She lives in Colorado.