Nebraska Health Insurance
Starting in 2014, many Nebraskans will have new health insurance options because of the Affordable Care Act. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation profile of Nebraska, Gov. Dave Heineman in 2012 announced Nebraska would not create a state-based health insurance marketplace. Additionally, Nebraska is one of 19 states not moving forward with Medicaid expansion at this time.
The federal health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov is open to Nebraska residents who want to take advantage of marketplace medical plans and determine if they qualify for financial assistance. After registering and completing the application, Nebraska residents can find out if they are eligible for tax credits for marketplace plans, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, called CHIP.
Who qualifies for help paying for Nebraska health insurance?
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation profile of uninsured and non-elderly Nebraska residents, 48 percent of previously uninsured Nebraskans may qualify for some sort of financial assistance under the ACA. This includes about 75,000 previously uninsured state residents who might qualify for federal income tax credits, also known as subsidies, that can be applied to monthly premiums for marketplace health plans. The following options are a few ways Nebraskans can get federal or state assistance paying for health insurance.
- The ACA offers tax credits to offset premiums for people who earn between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. This translates into a yearly income between $11,490 and $45,960 for one person, and between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four.
- Because Nebraska decided not to expand Medicaid, eligibility for non-disabled adults is limited to parents of children who make less than 54 percent of the poverty level, or less than $12,879 a year for a family of four.
- Children of Nebraska families with an income less than 218 percent of the poverty level, or about $51,990 for a family of four, might qualify for CHIP.
Typically, people who have access to a qualified plan through their employer or other public health plan will not qualify for financial assistance. Some people may choose to purchase a plan through the marketplace even if they don’t qualify for financial help.
Insurers cannot decline applicants for pre-existing health conditions, and they must provide mandated benefits such as prescription and preventive care coverage.
Health insurance companies in Nebraska
These companies offer qualified marketplace health insurance plans for Nebraskans.
- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
- CoOportunity Health
- Coventry Health Care of Nebraska
- Health Alliance
Nebraska health and coverage statistics
Nebraska population (2013): 1,868,516
Population 65 and older (2012): 13.9 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 79.8 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 201,600
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 239,800
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 235,300
Overall state health ranking: 11
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.
Nebraska health insurance resources
Federal marketplace: https://www.healthcare.gov/
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/default.aspx
Nebraska Department of Insurance: http://www.doi.nebraska.gov/
Nebraska state services for aging: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/aging.aspx
Kaiser Family Foundation: http://kff.org/tag/nebraska/