Nevada’s health exchange won’t increase premiums | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada’s health exchange won’t increase premiums

Despite the rising cost of using the federal healthcare exchange, Nevada's Silver State Health Insurance Exchange will make it through Fiscal 2019 without having to raise its premium rate.

That rate, 3.15 percent, gets added to what customers pay for their health insurance through the exchange. But more and more of that amount — which pays for operation of the state exchange — is being eaten up by what the federal government charges Nevada to use healthcare.gov. The federal rate was zero until 2017 when the feds started charging 1.5 percent of premiums. It went to 2 percent for 2018 and is set to go to 3 percent in 2019, which will eat up all but a tiny piece of that 3.15 percent rate.

SSHIX Executive Director Heather Korbulic said on Thursday the exchange will be able to avoid raising its premium charge by taking $5 million from reserves to cover operating costs beginning in state Fiscal Year 2019.

After that, she said, Nevada plans to be out of the federal system and on its own exchange which she said will be able to provide customers seeking health insurance better service for just a 2 percent addition to their premiums or less.

The Legislative Interim Finance Committee two weeks ago approved using $1 million in reserves to start the process of getting out of the federal system and building Nevada's own exchange.

Despite the fact the open enrollment period was cut in half from 90 days to 45 days this year, she said SSHIX enrolled 91,003 Nevadans in health insurance plan, 29,212 of them new enrollees.