51°F
weather icon Cloudy

Nevada’s Cortez Masto co-sponsors bill to address rural county health insurance

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, said she’s co-sponsoring a bill intended to address health insurance problems such as the ones Nevadans face in many rural counties.

State officials have said that insurers signed up to participate in the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange in 2018 aren’t offering coverage in 13 rural counties and Carson City.

The plans submitted for 2018 offer coverage only to residents in Clark, Washoe and Nye counties.

One carrier is exiting rural counties, and one is leaving the exchange. Both carriers said market uncertainties prompted their moves.

Cortez Masto has signed on to the Marketplace Certainty Act, a bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, aimed at controlling costs and keeping providers in markets.

The bill would fund cost-sharing reductions provided by the Affordable Care Act. The reductions lower the consumer cost for deductibles and copays to make insurance plans more affordable.

“By introducing plan after plan to gut the Affordable Care Act and refusing to enforce its key provisions, Republicans are creating chaos in our nation’s health care system,” Cortez Masto said in a statement June 29. “The decision by health insurers to pull out of Nevada’s rural counties, leaving nearly 8,000 Nevadans without coverage, is a direct result of the crisis of Republican leadership in Washington.”

The bill has 19 other co-sponsors, all Democratic senators except for an independent, Sen. Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with Democrats.

One way to help rural Nevadans could be to persuade insurers who are participating in the exchange to amend their 2018 plans before a Sept. 20 deadline to change coverage plans for next year.

In a statement, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, said the announcement this week about the state exchange is “yet another example of why Obamacare is a disaster and why it needs to be replaced, but we need to do it right.”

“I’m in contact with the Nevada Department of Insurance and Governor Sandoval as our state looks for alternatives for those who live in the 14 counties with no provider selling insurance on the exchange,” Heller said. “I continue to work with leadership, my colleagues and the administration as I fight for a bill that works for Nevadans.”

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @BenBotkin1 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Valley aquifer could reach “critical management” levels by 2055

After many months of painstaking research and calculations, a date has been placed on when the Pahrump Valley’s sole-source aquifer could reach critical management, with officials pegging the timeline at somewhere between the year 2055 and 2060. However, it was emphasized that this is an estimation and with so many variables at play, there is a possibility it could change.

How an injured and abandoned dog in Pahrump overcame the odds

A stray dog that was homeless, hospitalized and facing euthanasia earlier this month is now on the mend thanks to several in the community who helped raise thousands for its life-saving care.

Kellogg Park set for $70k expansion — here are the plans

The town of Pahrump is poised to purchase a parcel adjoining the lands dedicated to Kellogg Park, with a $70,000 offer for the 4.39 acre lot at 3781 E. Santovito St.

Guns, drugs, cash recovered in search could be part of crime ring, sheriff says

Officials from the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Unit are assisting the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in the arrest and investigation of a man allegedly found possessing a hoard of guns, drugs and cash, according to Sheriff Joe McGill.

No same-day registration for Nye’s next live tax sale

Nye County is coming up on its next delinquent property tax sale and there is going to be a big change to the process — for the first time, there will be no same-day registration available.

Rare opportunity to kayak in Death Valley

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – A temporary lake provides a rare opportunity to kayak in the driest place in the United States: Death Valley National Park.

2024 Dark Sky Festival could lure thousands to Death Valley

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Explore the wonders of space from one of the darkest locations in the United States. The Death Valley Dark Sky Festival will take place Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 3. This popular event was attended by over 3,500 people last year.