Nevadans will use new health insurance enrollment system in 2019

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - In early 2015 the State Of Nevada realized it had made a mistake.

Photo courtesy MGN Online Image Id: 353462 11/22/2016

Patients like Larry Basich testified to the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange Board he bought insurance in late 2014 and was paying premiums.

“Had a heart attack on New Year's Eve, I suffered... incurred, not suffered,,, but it was suffering, too. I incurred $407,000 in health care costs,” said Basich in 2015.

The problem was there was no record Basich had insurance.

“The notice said, if you don't pay your premium in full or bring it up to date by August 31st, we will cancel your coverage because of non-payment.”

That’s what Melissa Smith told us in October 2015. She had the same problem, paying premiums for months but the record was incomplete.

All of it traced back to Xerox, the vendor contracted to execute Nevada's state-based health insurance market place. Residents paid for insurance; there was no record. When a problem arose, there was no one to help.

And it wasn't just one or two people with complaints. It was thousands.

Late that year the board decided to become a hybrid market place---selling health insurance offered in Nevada over the federal system,

By most accounts, the system worked well. But it's becoming expensive.
By 2020 it will cost the state more than $12,000,000 to use--pushing the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange into insolvency. Which is why the exchange is looking to go back to a state-based health insurance market.

The exchange will soon be putting out a bid to vendors to set up a platform and system to eventually sign Nevadans up for health insurance.

“So there is precedent in other states. Another state, Idaho, specifically, has migrated from CMS or using fully, to becoming their own state-based market places. We are confident we will be able to get the data that will allow us to do the same functions that would do,” says Heather Korbulic, with the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.

Nevadans will still be using this fall to sign up for insurance. But during that time and into 2019 the vendor will be setting up an enrollment system which should be up and running in the fall of 2019.