Nevada Health Insurance
The Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, is a collection of laws meant to reform health insurance in the United States. The act was passed in March 2010, and as of 2014, most of the changes have gone into effect. The individual mandate requires people to obtain insurance or face a tax penalty, and insurance companies must offer full preventive care and set reasonable limits for out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, insurers cannot turn away applicants because of pre-existing health conditions.
Nevada has traditionally struggled with high insurance costs and a large number of uninsured residents. The Affordable Care Act has so far been well-received in the state, especially the Medicaid expansion, which has the potential to offer affordable health care to nearly half of its uninsured residents.
What is a health insurance marketplace?
A health insurance exchange is a comparison site that enables individuals to view all available plans. The insurance exchange is not an insurance company itself, but it does act as a broker to connect buyers with insurers. Once a policy is chosen, you’ll need to finalize the purchase with the insurer.
In June 2011, Gov. Brian Sandoval announced Nevada would become one of the 16 states plus Washington, D.C., to establish its own exchange. The Nevada health insurance website is called Nevada Health Link, and the website provides insurance information and assistance to Nevada residents.
To use the site, you will need to fill out some general information about your lifestyle, family size and annual income.
This information will be used to match you with the most appropriate insurance plans, and it will also be used to determine whether you qualify for a tax subsidy to reduce the cost of your insurance premiums.
Do I qualify for a health insurance subsidy in Nevada?
The government offers an advance tax credit to help individuals afford health insurance. The subsidy is available to people with incomes between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty line.
That translates to between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four and between $11,490 and $45,960 for an individual.
The amount of your subsidy will vary depending on your income. People with higher incomes will receive a lower subsidy.
Health insurance companies participating in Nevada’s insurance exchange
- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
- Health Plan of Nevada
- Nevada Health Co-Op
- Saint Mary’s Health Plans
Health care for low-income families
Nevada was one of several states to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. The purpose of this Medicaid expansion is to provide health care to adults whose incomes are too low to afford a standard policy through the exchange.
You can apply for Medicaid through the state exchange; if your income is low enough to qualify, the site will walk you through the application process.
In Nevada, adults with monthly incomes of less than $1,273 can receive Medicaid benefits. Benefits are also available to children whose families earn less than $1,522.
Additional health benefits are available to children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as Nevada Check Up, if their families earn less than $1,915 per month.
Nevada health and coverage statistics
Nevada population (2013): 2,790,136
Population 65 and older (2012): 13.1 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 78.1 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 278,700
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 357,200
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 624,900
Overall state health ranking: 37
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America’s Health Rankings 2014 report.
Nevada health insurance resources
Nevada Department of Health and Human Services: http://dhhs.nv.gov/
Nevada Health Link: https://www.nevadahealthlink.com/
Nevada Division of Insurance: http://doi.nv.gov/
Kaiser Family Foundation: http://kff.org/tag/nevada/