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Health insurance open season begins Thursday

By Ron Bliss For the Nevada Appeal

Health Insurance Season begins in earnest on Thursday when Annual Enrollment season begins for Medicare. Two weeks later, on Nov. 1, Open Enrollment begins for medical insurance for those individuals 64 and younger.

The Medicare season runs from Oct. 15-Dec. 7. During that time, individuals can change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, can drop a Medicare supplement to go to a Medicare Advantage plan or sign up for or change prescription drug plans, if on Standard Medicare with or without a supplement.

Open enrollment for 64-under major medical plans will run from Nov. 1-Jan. 15, 2021, this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An estimated 6 million individuals nationally lost coverage through their employer due to the pandemic.

It will be business as usual for AEP, however, there will be additional choice for those who qualify for the Nevada Health Link. In Northern Nevada, an additional carrier – Friday Health Plans out of Denver — will be available.

Three other carriers will be available on the Nevada Health Link in Washoe County – Silver Summit (Ambetter), Anthem and Health Plan of Nevada. In outlying counties, all but Health Plan of Nevada will be offered. A fifth carrier, Select Health, will be available in Southern Nevada counties only.

Individuals cannot sign up until Nov. 1, but can go to the Nevada Health Link to shop now and get an idea of what the cost will be for various plans.

Hometown Health is available off the exchange in Washoe, Carson City, Douglas and Lyon counties in Northern Nevada for those who do not qualify for a subsidy.

Prices have risen just 4.2 percent on average this year in Nevada.

Ron Bliss is an independent agent with office at 625 Fairview Avenue, Suite 126 in Carson City. He has been a broker on the exchange since 2014 and sells products on and off the exchange. Call him at 775-224-7169 to set up an appointment for Medicare and Major Medical policies. Supplemental plans for vision dental and accident and life insurance plans are also available.