Health Exchange fees set to rise |

Health Exchange fees set to rise

The fees charged by the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange will more than double next year.

The exchange board voted unanimously Wednesday to set the fee for 2015 at a flat $13 per member, per month. The current fee is $4.95 per member, per month.

A key reason for the increase is that the exchange is operating on federal funds but, as of next year, will have to support itself. The PMPM fees are the source of the revenue that will pay for operation of the exchange.

Insurance Commissioner Scott Kipper told the board that works out fo about 3.4 percent of the average $377 monthly fee enrollees are paying for health insurance. He pointed out that is less than the 3.5 percent those on the federal health exchange are paying.

Kipper recommended the board go with a flat $13 fee instead of a percentage increase because it will take until mid-October before insurance carriers will know their rates for the coming year, which means the state exchange wouldn’t actually know what percentage it will need to fund operations until then.

“So if we do a percentage, we’re not going to have that amount until it’s too late,” said board member Lynne Etkins.

Kipper said the rate was based on a conservative projection that enrollment would rise to 60,000 next year. It is currently just over 34,000.

At that number of enrollees, the fees would generate about $9.36 million, about $3 million more than the projected overhead to operate the exchange.

He said that given the problems the exchange has had, it’s prudent to be conservative but that, if more people than estimated end up enrolling, their fees will be added to the projected budget.

The $13 fee is for a Qualified Health Plan without dental coverage.

Adding dental or buying a dental plan without a health plan would cost 83 cents a month.