Governor announces new rural health insurer
Missouri-based SilverSummit will be offering health insurance coverage to Carson City residents, Gov. Brian Sandoval announced on Tuesday.
“Access to quality, affordable healthcare should not be dependent on your zip code or county line,” Sandoval said at a press conference. “Today’s announcement will ensure that more than 8,000 Nevadans will have the ability to exercise their option to utilize Nevada’s online marketplace and secure coverage for their families This is a fantastic time to welcome SilverSummit to our healthcare market and express the state’s sincere gratitude for stepping up, partnering with Nevada’s own Hometown Health, and providing an insurance option for thousands of Nevadans.”
SilverSummit is operated by Centene Corp. it will offer insurance to residents of the 14 counties left bare by the departure of Prominence and Anthem.
Only Washoe, Nye and Clark counties retained their insurance providers on the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. The Exchange is Nevada’s state agency that helps individuals obtain budget-appropriate health coverage through the online marketplace, Nevada Health Link. Earlier this month, the Division of Insurance announced that 14 of Nevada’s 17 counties would be without an Exchange health insurance option, which would have left 8,000 consumers in these counties without access to Qualified Health Plans and federal subsidies beginning in January 2018.
“We are grateful that SilverSummit has stepped up to the plate, offering relief to thousands of residents who thought they would be deprived of access to health insurance,” said Exchange Executive Director Heather Korbulic. “Thanks to Gov. Sandoval’s tireless and unwavering commitment to ensuring access to healthcare for all Nevadans, individuals throughout the state will have access to qualified health plans.”
There are currently two insurance carriers planning to offer insurance options on the Exchange, Health Plan of Nevada and SilverSummit. SilverSummit is the only carrier at this time who will provide an insurance option in all of Nevada’s 17 counties. Health Plan of Nevada will provide an insurance option in Nye, Clark, and Washoe Counties.
“We appreciate that such an experienced insurance carrier will be joining the Nevada Exchange,” said Barbara D. Richardson, Nevada insurance commissioner. “The Division continues to work with our state partners to explore long-term solutions for Nevada citizens.”
This is not the first time Centene has provided coverage in states where insurance carriers have left the marketplace due to uncertainty surrounding the administration’s objective to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. In Missouri, Centene offers plans in 25 counties that were slated to have no insurers on its exchange in 2018. Centene’s updated rates for Nevada have yet to be announced.
The Exchange was established per Nevada Revised Statues in 2011, and operations began in 2013. Nevada Health Link, the state-based online marketplace, supported by healthcare.gov, allows Nevadans to shop for health insurance and provides federal tax credits and subsidies to help cover the cost of insurance for those who qualify.