Anthem withdrawing from Nevada exchange for 2018

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Published: Aug. 7, 2017 at 12:47 PM PDT
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Anthem will leave Nevada's health care exchange next year, a move that Gov. Brian Sandoval calls an abrupt and significant blow to the state's individual marketplace.

The surprise Monday announcement comes after Anthem said in June it would leave the rural health exchanges but keep offering plans in more-populous counties.

Sandoval says he's frustrated and disappointed, but his office is in regular contact with the two remaining companies offering plans on the exchanges in Clark, Washoe and Nye counties.

SilverSummit Healthplan will make its debut on the state's exchange in 2018, while Health Plan of Nevada is proposing average rate increases of 26.1 percent.

More than 80,000 people in Nevada buy insurance through the exchange that offers federal discounts through former President Barack Obama's landmark health law.

Anthem has cited market volatility and uncertainty in Congress.

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er Barbara Richardson issued the following statement in response to a request by

under Nevada Revised Statute 679B.190(5)(b) regarding Anthem’s announcement that it will be withdrawing plans from

in 2018:

“On July 28, 2017, Anthem submitted a Notice of Intent to withdraw from the Silver State Exchange for Plan Year 2018. As such, Anthem will no longer have a presence in Nevada’s individual health market with the exception of catastrophic plans which can only be purchased off the Exchange throughout the state. These plans restrict availability to consumers under 30 years old or with a low income” says Richardson.

Prior to this notice, Anthem had submitted filings to offer Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) in Clark, Washoe and Nye counties. Based on the rate submissions the Division of Insurance received from Anthem, they proposed an average rate increase of 62 percent. This proposed rate increase did not reflect the potential elimination of payments to insurance carriers for Cost Share Reductions (CSRs). Loss of the Cost Sharing Reduction payments has the potential to increase further rates in the Nevada market.

This announcement follows a notice when Anthem withdrew from the Silver State Exchange in 14 counties, leaving consumers in those counties without an option on the Exchange for Plan Year 2018.

“While the division is disappointed in Anthem’s latest decision regarding its withdrawals, we believed that it was in the interest of the Nevada public to let consumers know about the Anthem decision as soon as possible” says Richardson. “The Division is continuing to work with our state partners on attracting an insurance carrier to serve the 14 bare counties and to support the stability of the market for those insurance carriers who remain.

"We are also working with our state partners on a plan to help consumers shop the Exchange market at open enrollment for the 2018 Plan Year and remain optimistic that there will be coverage for consumers on the Exchange throughout the state.”

Governor Brian Sandoval says, “I am frustrated and disappointed with Anthem’s surprise and abrupt decision to leave the healthcare exchange especially during uncertain times. This is a significant blow to the state’s individual marketplace; however, residents in Washoe, Clark and Nye Counties who have purchased from the state-based exchange will still have two providers to purchase from during the next open enrollment period. My office is in regular contact with the two remaining providers in order to ensure there will continue to be options for the more than 80,000 Nevadans who purchase insurance through the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. These efforts include working to find a solution for the individuals and families in potential so-called ‘bare counties."

US Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) says, “As a provider on the Nevadan insurance exchange, Anthem received preferential treatment in its bid to be selected as one of Nevada’s Medicaid managers. It is disappointing that after reaping the benefits of this relationship Anthem has decided to break its commitment to Nevada, leaving thousands of Nevadans with disrupted health care services and potentially having to leave their trusted doctors, nurses and other health care providers. Anthem’s unscrupulous conduct demonstrates that they will seek any opportunity to put profits over the health and well-being of the thousands of Nevadans who rely on them.

“After a grueling health care battle with Republicans playing games with the health coverage of millions of Americans, this should be a reminder that our priority now should be to stabilize the markets. I call on the Trump Administration to bring stability to the markets by committing to fund the Cost Sharing Reductions (CSRs) provided by the Affordable Care Act to help consumers afford insurance and ensure providers do not leave the markets. We cannot continue to jeopardize the lives and well-being of the American people who entrusted us to find solutions and to fix what does not work.”