The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange on Monday, Nov. 2 kicked off its eighth Open Enrollment Period and its second operating as a state-based exchange.
The state agency that connects Nevadans to budget-appropriate Qualified Health Plans through the online marketplace Nevada Health Link will accept enrollments through Jan. 15, 2021, 30 days longer than last year, so Nevadans can explore and purchase health plans, dental plans and vision plans, a new addition to the marketplace this year.
Health plans offered through Nevada Health Link are ideal for Nevadans who don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid but still need financial assistance; those who don’t have employee-sponsored health insurance, including independent contractors and gig workers; and anyone seeking comprehensive, quality and affordable plans. Nevada Health Link is the only place consumers can access subsidies to help offset the costs of insurance.
Consumers can shop from 50 health plans offered by five insurance carriers, all of them QHPs that cover the 10 essential health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act, including coverage for pre-existing conditions and COVID-19 testing and treatment. This year, Health Plan of Nevada, SilverSummit (Ambetter) and Anthem HMO Co. are returning carriers, while Friday Health Plans and SelectHealth are new carriers joining Nevada Health Link.
Those who enroll by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2020 will have health insurance coverage effective Jan. 1, 2021; those who enroll between Jan. 1 and Jan. 15 will have coverage effective Feb. 1, 2021.
“As we enter our eighth Open Enrollment, I reflect on how far we’ve come as an agency and a state to reduce the uninsured gap in Nevada,” Silver State Health Insurance Exchange Executive Director Heather Korbulic said. “But with over 100,000 eligible Nevadans living without health insurance, there is still much work to be done.
“The global pandemic has affected thousands across the state, but virus or no virus, it is always a good idea to have health insurance. This year, more than ever, our collaboration with stakeholders and community partners is critical to connecting consumers with a health plan that fits their needs and budget.”
Last year, four out of five applicants who purchased a plan through the exchange were eligible for financial assistance through tax credits, so consumers are encouraged to seek assistance to find out if they qualify. Recent reports show Nevada’s unemployment rate is approximately 14%, which means the number of Nevadans who qualify for exchange coverage and subsidies is expected to increase.
Consumers who recently lost a job or had a change in income might also be eligible to receive more subsidy assistance to help pay for their health plans and should contact Nevada Health Link rather than canceling their health insurance plans.
“It’s also a presidential election year, which not only creates more ‘noise’ to cut through during Open Enrollment, but it can also generate unnecessary confusion surrounding health insurance, which is already an intimidating process for consumers,” Korbulic said. “While federal health care developments continue to evolve, consumers should know none of the political discourse will affect their access to a Qualified Health Plan for 2021 on Nevada Health Link.”
Nevada Health Link is working with qualified brokers and navigators to ensure there are plenty of opportunities and methods to enroll in health insurance, including virtual and contactless assistance in various languages via telephone and online or in-person for those who prefer it.
Consumers interested in enrolling in a Nevada Health Link plan should visit NevadaHealthLink.com or call 1-800-547-2927.
Nevada Health Link is the online insurance marketplace operated by the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, which was established per Nevada Revised Statutes in 2011 by the state of Nevada and began operations in 2013 on the belief that all Nevadans deserve access to health insurance. In 2019, the exchange transitioned away from the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace and became a fully operational state-based exchange.