Nevada leaders urge people who need health insurance to enroll |

Nevada leaders urge people who need health insurance to enroll

State leaders held a press conference Monday to urge Nevadans without health insurance to enroll at Nevada Health Link.

That is the state-operated health insurance exchange and Exchange Director Heather Korbulic said open enrollment started Sunday.

Those who need coverage, she said, can sign up anytime between now and Jan. 15. She said the exchange now has almost 50 plans and the majority of those signing up will qualify for subsidies to help pay their premiums.

Korbulic said the U.S. Supreme Court case seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act will be heard Nov. 10 but that any decision will probably take several months so those who sign up for the 2021 year will have coverage no matter which way the court rules.

Attorney General Aaron Ford also made reference to the court case saying there is a long list of protections in the Affordable Care Act that would be lost if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the law including coverage for the more than 135 million Americans with pre-existing health conditions.

He said without the ACA, people will have to pay more for prescription medicines, struggling hospitals will be hit with higher costs, the ban on insurers setting lifetime maximums on benefits will go away as will coverage for contraception and birth control. In fact, he said, insurers would again be able to charge women more for coverage. The ban on drug companies paying off doctors behind closed doors to use their products would also disappear.

“Nothing has put Nevadans’ good health to the test like the pandemic we are facing,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak.

He said during the open enrollment period after the pandemic hit, some 6,000 new customers signed up, bringing the total covered by the exchange to more than 83,000.

“But there are still over 100,000 eligible Nevadans without health insurance,” he said.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said it’s critical that the needs of those 100,000 Nevadans be addressed.

“In the middle of a pandemic I can’t think of anything more important than health insurance,” she said.

She was joined by fellow Democrat Sen. Jacky Rosen who also said nothing is more important than a person’s health.

“While it was always important, in the middle of a pandemic it’s more important than ever,” she said.

All urged Nevadans without insurance to go to to find a plan that matches their needs. Or, Korbulic said, they can call 1-800-547-2927 for assistance.