Nevada: Final total: 77.4K QHPs, only down 7.2% despite platform transition

This Just In from Nevada Health Link:

Nevada’s State Based Exchange Announces Enrollment Figures for Plan Year 2020

Carson City, Nev. – The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), Nevada’s state agency that helps individuals get connected to budget‐appropriate health coverage through the online marketplace, Nevada Health Link, enrolled 77,410 Nevadans during Open Enrollment for Plan Year 2020. The Exchange's seventh Open Enrollment Period ended Dec. 15, 2019 and included an extension for consumers who started the enrollment process on or before Sunday, Dec. 15 to complete their application by Friday, Dec. 20.

According to Heather Korbulic, executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, the Plan Year 2020 enrollment numbers are promising and demonstrate the continued need for Nevada’s State Based Exchange (SBE) services. As a result of the successful transition off of the federal enrollment platform, HealthCare.gov, the Exchange has established a new and accurate baseline for reporting enrollment figures. Prior to 2019, the Exchange operated on HealthCare.gov, receiving limited information about enrollment data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

"As the first state to transition from HealthCare.gov to a fully operational SBE, Nevada Health Link has direct insight into real‐time data which creates a more accurate and clear picture of the enrollment landscape in Nevada. Plan Year 2020 enrollment numbers will become the baseline from which we will work to continue to increase the number of insured Nevadans as we move forward."

As part of the transition to a SBE, Nevada Health Link migrated a total of 65,563 Nevada consumers from HealthCare.gov onto the SBE platform at NevadaHealthLink.com.

  • 20,111 represents the number of new enrollments into qualified health plans as of Dec. 20, 2019
  • 25,587 represents the number of returning consumers who actively shopped and enrolled in a plan for 2020
  • 15,273 represents the number of enrollments into qualified dental plans as of Dec. 20, 2019

I've confirmed that the 77.4K figure is indeed medical QHPs, not standalone dental plans (there's been a few cases of exchanges conflating the two, but that's not the case here).

Still a bit confused about the three numbers above, as they only add up to 60,971. I'm assuming the other ~4,600 were auto-renewed? And I'm assuming the 11,847 difference between the 65,563 & 77,410 figures are people who newly enrolled directly on the new state-based exchange. I've asked for clarification on both but this likely won't happen until after New Year's at this point.

In addition to the total enrollments completed by Dec. 20, 2019, the Exchange is conducting outreach to several thousand consumers who were transferred to Nevada Health Link from the Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS) as ineligible for Medicaid benefits. These consumers have 60 days from the date of their Medicaid denial to apply for insurance on Nevada Health Link.

Interesting. This shows one of the benefits of states operating their own ACA exchanges--I presume that in prior years, these people would be lost in the shuffle. Instead, they're being actively flagged and the exchange is being alerted to their situation so they can reach out to them and get them enrolled in what I presume would be heavily-subsidized exchange plans.

Korbulic states, outside of the planned maintenance, the Exchange remained online throughout the entire 45‐day enrollment period and also extended its call center hours in December to accommodate the heightened volume of incoming calls during the final two weeks of enrollment. Since the beginning of Open Enrollment, Nevada Health Link's Customer Assistance Call Center consistently conducted timely customer service, answering 24,880 calls and resolving 89% of consumer inquiries in a single call. Guests’ experience was overall very positive and survey results yielded a 93% customer satisfaction score.

This year, Nevada Health Link offered 27 qualified health plans offered through three insurance carriers: Health Plan of Nevada and SilverSummit, which returned to the Exchange from the previous year, as well as Anthem HMO Co., which rejoined the Exchange for Plan Year 2020. All 27 plans were available to Nevada residents in Clark, Nye and Washoe counties. SilverSummit and Anthem HMO Co. offered 17 plans to residents in Nevada’s 14 rural counties including Carson

City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and White Pine. Six carriers offered 17 stand‐alone dental plans to Nevada residents statewide.

While Open Enrollment has ended, it is important to remember that certain Qualifying Life Events (QLEs), such as losing health insurance, getting married, having a child or moving, can make an individual eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that allows enrollment at any time during the year. An individual or household has 60 days to enroll in coverage of the reported occurrence of the QLE. To find out if you’re eligible and to learn more, visit NevadaHealthLink.com.

Remember, Nevada is the first state to split off from the federal exchange onto their own full platform since Idaho made the move in 2014. Granted, Idaho actually saw a significant 28% increase in enrollments when they made their move, but that's an unfair comparison--nearly every state significantly outperformed the infamously tech-plagued 2014 during the 2015 OEP, and Idaho was near the back of the pack.

In additon, during the 2015 OEP, HealthCare.Gov hadn't yet been firmly embedded in the national consciousness. In the case of Nevada, residents have spent the past five years being told to go to HC.gov, so it's understandable that it'll take some time to get the new branding out there.