Nevada kicked off its own online health insurance exchange to take the place of the one run by the federal government for the state’s residents since 2014, saying it can save money for hundreds of thousands of policy-buyers.
Last month, the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (SSHIX) began its transition from using the federal health insurance enrollment platform, healthcare.gov, to use of a fully state-based platform, marking the second time the state has attempted the transition.
The state’s first state-run system was plagued by a series of enrollment and billing troubles that led to a chaotic enrollment period, forcing the state to sever its relationship with contractor Xerox and switch to the federal platform.
Despite Nevada’s prior troubles, many other states have successfuly moved to state-run platforms, including California and Mississippi.
Health care advocates say state-based marketplaces are able to charge slightly lower user fees to insurers that sell plans on their exchanges compared with the federal government, have more control over health plans, and can offer longer enrollment periods and more assistance.
Heather Korbulic, executive director of the exchange, said she expects cost savings for the state to exceed $4 million for fiscal year 2020 alone.
Both the federal exchange and state-based exchanges are key components of the Affordable Care Act and its goal of expanding access to coverage.
Open enrollment for the online health insurance exchange runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 and will allow eligible Nevadans who don’t receive health care from their workplace or federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid to shop for, compare and purchase Affordable Care Act-compliant health insurance plans.
Nevadans will be able to choose from 27 qualified health plans offered through three insurance carriers as well as 17 standalone dental plans through six dental carriers.
Nevadan’s can ask for assistance from a licensed professional by ZIP code. A call center will be operating throughout the enrollment period for those who need additional assistance, which will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.