Centene to offer health coverage to all Nevada counties

Published: Aug. 15, 2017 at 11:26 AM PDT
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Governor Brian Sandoval says health insurance company

will expand coverage on Nevada's health exchange for 2018, meaning all the state's rural counties will continue to have health coverage.

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,

. 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,

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.

US Senator Dean Heller (R-NV):

“I welcome Centene’s announcement that it will offer plans on the Nevada exchange, providing Nevadans with additional health care options so that no county in our state is bare. I was proud to work with Governor Sandoval to make sure that people living in all of Nevada’s 17 counties have the option to purchase coverage on the exchange next year. Nevadans have been left with dwindling choices when it comes to their health care coverage, and it’s more evidence that Obamacare is failing. That’s why I continue to work for health care solutions – like the Graham-Cassidy-Heller plan – that return power to the states, protect Nevada’s most vulnerable, and repeal Obamacare’s onerous mandates that continue to squeeze hardworking Nevadans who can least afford it.”  

US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV): 

“Nevadans should have access to quality, affordable health care regardless of whether they live in Las Vegas or Tuscarora. Centene, which operates as Silver Summit Health Plan in Nevada, announced today that it will provide health insurance plans through the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange to our rural counties, ensuring that each Nevada county has at least one health insurance provider. Michael Neidorff, CEO of Centene, and Garret Leaf, President and CEO of Silver Summit Health Plan, have demonstrated a strong commitment to Nevada’s rural communities by bringing back quality health insurance options to families, seniors and disabled Nevadan’s across our state.

“I applaud Centene for its willingness to put Nevadan families first despite the Trump administration’s threats and continued sabotage of the ACA’s health insurance marketplaces. With Centene’s decision to provide coverage in rural Nevada, approximately 8,000 hardworking Nevadan’s will once again have access to health insurance that would have been denied to them. Centene’s actions show that for some insurance companies, it is truly the health and wellbeing of the people it covers that is most important.

“Today’s announcement and the hard work of Governor Sandoval demonstrate what can be achieved when politicians on both sides of the aisle come together to fix and strengthen the Affordable Care Act. I hope when Congress returns from August recess, Republicans will see these lessons, work with Democrats and put the lives and health care access of Americans first.”

Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle (D-NV):

“Healthcare must remain affordable and accessible to every citizen of Nevada, regardless of where they live. With so much uncertainty about the future of our national healthcare, Nevada must do everything we can to support the notion that healthcare is a right, and not a privilege or a product. As Chair of the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee, I will continue to work towards that goal by examining new and innovative ideas as well as redefining and sharpening potential ideas already conceived.”