Centene to offer health coverage to all Nevada counties

By  | 

SILVER SPRINGS, Nev. (KOLO) - Governor Brian Sandoval says health insurance company Centene will expand coverage on Nevada's health exchange for 2018, meaning all the state's rural counties will continue to have health coverage.

Photo courtesy Governor Sandoval's office

An a news conference in Silver Springs, Sandoval announced the Missouri-based Centene Corporation, also known as SilverSummit in Nevada, will offer health insurance coverage to all Nevada residents including those living in Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and White Pine on the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.

The exchange is Nevada’s state agency designed to help people get budget-appropriate health coverage through the online marketplace, Nevada Health Link. In early August 2017, the Division of Insurance announced that 14 of Nevada’s 17 counties would be without an Exchange health insurance option, which would have left 8,000 consumers in these counties without access to Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and federal subsidies beginning in January 2018.

“Access to quality, affordable healthcare should not be dependent on your zip code or county line. Today’s announcement will ensure that more than 8,000 Nevadans will have the ability to exercise their option to utilize Nevada’s online marketplace and secure coverage for their families,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “This is a fantastic time to welcome SilverSummit to our healthcare market and express the state’s sincere gratitude for stepping up, partnering with Nevada’s own Hometown Health, and providing an insurance option for thousands of Nevadans.”

"We are grateful that SilverSummit has stepped up to the plate, offering relief to thousands of residents who thought they would be deprived of access to health insurance," said Heather Korbulic, executive director for the exchange. "Thanks to Governor Sandoval’s tireless and unwavering commitment to ensuring access to healthcare for all Nevadans, individuals throughout the state will have access to qualified health plans.”

"We appreciate that such an experienced insurance carrier will be joining the Nevada Exchange," said Barbara D. Richardson, Nevada insurance commissioner. "The Division continues to work with our state partners to explore long-term solutions for Nevada citizens."

Centene's updated rates for Nevada have yet to be announced.

The "bare counties" situation was created when existing insurance carriers, Prominence and Anthem, both of which provided plans on the Exchange to rural counties, provided notice that they would pull out of the Exchange market entirely beginning in 2018.

There are now two insurance carriers planning to offer insurance options on the exchange, Health Plan of Nevada and SilverSummit. SilverSummit is the only carrier so far that will provide an insurance option in each of Nevada’s 17 counties. Health Plan of Nevada will provide an insurance option in Nye, Clark, and Washoe counties.