Nevada Health Link In Trouble

CARSON CITY, NV - The only light in what was mostly dark day of disclosure was this: Zephyr Cove resident Claudia Lamb finally received her insurance cards after more than four months of trying on Nevada's Health Exchange.

Thursday afternoon. Claudia testified in front of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange board about her problems trying to enroll herself and husband together.

The exchange denied her claim in part because it said her husband was incarcerated.

Her husband, by the way, was in the audience.

“I fully believe if Channel 8 had not focused on our problem, that our situation wouldn't have been resolved and I would still be waiting for Nevada Health Exchange to return my call,” said Lamb.

Another consumer testified it took him months to enroll.

He understood he had insurance.

That was until he had triple bypass surgery January 3rd.

“On January 3rd I had triple bypass surgery. You can see it right here; I'll be happy to show you. Since that time I've gone $470,000 in debt and I want to know who is going to pay for it.,” said Warren Gasich, a Las Vegas resident.

Such stories are not uncommon in the exchange.

The system has locked out 60-thousand Nevadans who have tried to access health insurance, pay for it, and receive confirmation they indeed have coverage.

So dire is the situation, the exchange will not meet its goal of 118,000 enrollees by the end of March.

“Complete technology failure and I have personally, and I don't think it's a mystery to anyone who has been in these meetings, I don't have confidence in Xerox,” said Lynn Etkins, who is the board's vice chairwoman.

Four Xerox executives appeared before the board to talk about what they are doing to correct their system.

Nevada awarded the company an exclusive contract to set up a program for residents to enroll, pay for and receive health care coverage.

While the men said the company's performance has been substandard to this point, they could not guarantee those 60,000 Nevadans caught in the pipeline will see the light of day by the March 31st deadline.

After hearing the January numbers Thursday afternoon, the chairwoman of the health exchange, Barbara Smith-Campbell, suggested the board start developing a disaster recovery plan should current conditions with the health care exchange not improve.