Health insurance deadline looms

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) A health insurance enrollment event took place last year at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, at the beginning of enrollment and the final day.

No such event is planned like that this year. But to bring awareness to the enrollment period, commercials have been playing locally and statewide.

“I mean, if you are in Nevada right now, and you are not seeing our content, then you are doing something private on line, because we are everywhere,” says Heather Korbulic, Executive Director of the Silver State Health Exchange.

Despite the public awareness campaign, enrollment is down by 11% compared to last year. Some reasons: no longer is there a penalty for not having insurance, the jobless rate is down and many residents are getting their health insurance through work.

And new short-term plans, with limited coverage that last for six months in Nevada, could be eating into the insurance pool here.

“They don’t cover the essentials,” says Nevada U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto.

Cortez Masto says states aren't getting much help from the feds these days either. She says the Trump administration is doing what it can to kill the Affordable Care Act, in any way it can.

“With death by a thousand cuts. That includes eliminating the individual mandate,” says the senator.

Despite those efforts, on an individual basis, the subsidies afforded to approximately 80% of Nevadans are out there to make health insurance affordable.

The senator says she remains optimistic that other positive changes can be made to improve on system she says is by no means perfect.

Until that time, Nevadans are encouraged to get out and buy health insurance. The deadline is December 15, 2018.

Navigators and brokers are available to find a plan that fits you and your family, but you have to make the first step; click here for the Nevada Insurance Exchange.

If you think it's cheaper to go without....try living with a medical bill that can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.