Spokesman: Feds will pay cost of putting Nevada on federal health exchange

A spokesman for the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange says the federal government will pick up the cost of putting Nevada on the federal insurance exchange.

The exchange board voted on Tuesday to dump Xerox, the contractor that has been trying since last October to get the website and call center working well enough to let Nevadans sign up for a coverage plan. Instead, the board unanimously went with a hybrid system using the front door system that has been set up as nevadahealthlink.com but connecting it behind the screen to the federal healthcare.gov system which is reportedly working much better.

C.J. Bawden of the Nevada exchange said the federal government will pay all costs associated with transitioning from the Xerox system to the federal system and Nevada won’t be required to pay a per-member-per-month fee to the federal government for using the federal system.

In addition, he said the federal government will pay 90 percent of any costs incurred to disconnect Nevada’s Medicaid system from the Xerox website and connect it to the federal system. The initial estimate of those costs ranges up to $20 million.

Interim exchange director Steve Fisher said the decision was designed to ensure Nevadans receive access to health insurance coverage.

“Additionally, it is the least cost option with the highest probability of success for the 2015 plan year,” he said.

The existing Xerox system will remain in service for current members who have enrolled in coverage this past year.


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