Sisolak signs bills protecting healthcare coverage |

Sisolak signs bills protecting healthcare coverage

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Wednesday signed into law two bills protecting healthcare coverage for Nevadans.

AB170 puts into Nevada statutes mandating healthcare providers provide coverage for pre-existing conditions and AB469 is designed to prevent out of network providers from charging more for emergency medical treatment than they would charge an in-network patient.

“With these new laws, we’ve just made healthcare more affordable and accessible in Nevada,” he told some 50 advocates and provider representatives in the Old Assembly Chambers of the Capitol.

AB170 codifies into law protections for Nevadans with pre-existing health conditions in case that part of the Affordable Care Act gets struck down or repealed in Washington, D.C.

“There are 1.2 million Nevadans living with pre-existing conditions and could have their care stripped away,” he said.

It also provides patients with assistance from the state in getting appointments for treatment with their in-network providers. At present, those patients sometimes have to wait weeks or even months for an appointment even though they’re in-network.

Sisolak credited Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, D-Las Vegas, and Assembly Ways and Means Chair Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, with getting the bill in a form acceptable to the stakeholders. Carlton, he said, has been working on this issue for a decade.

“This bill represents patients and providers coming together,” said Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas.

AB469 is aimed at those surprise bills patients sometimes get when they have an emergency and have to go to a provider who’s out of their network. Sisolak said some of those bills can hit $10,000 and upwards, possibly ruining a family financially.

The bill would prevent those out of network providers form charging more than they would an in-network patient for emergency medical treatment.