Nevada: @NVHealthLink enrolls ~5,500 in exchange coverage via #COVID19 SEP
Silver State Health Insurance Exchange enrolls 5,479 during Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period in Response to COVID-19
Carson City, Nev. – The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), Nevada’s state agency that helps individuals secure budget-appropriate health coverage through the online marketplace and State Based Exchange (SBE) platform, Nevada Health Link, enrolled 6,017 Nevadans during its limited-time Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period (SEP), March 17 – May 15, including 5,479 new consumer enrollments related to the Exceptional Circumstance Special Enrollment Period, and 538 enrollments due to loss of Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC).
In response to Governor Sisolak’s March 12 Emergency Declaration, the SEP was opened to allow qualified Nevadans who missed OEP to secure health care coverage. Consumers who enrolled on or before April 30 received coverage effective May 1, and consumers who enrolled between May 1 and 15 will have coverage effective June 1, 2020.
It's worth noting that the 538 MEC enrollees did so via normal Special Enrollment Period exceptions: Losing coverage via job loss, moving, turning 26, getting married/divorced, etc. There's likely some amount of overlap between the two numbers, however, since those eligible for one might have been eligible to enroll via the other as well.
“I am pleased to see so many Nevadans take advantage of the limited-time Special Enrollment Period to get comprehensive, qualified health insurance they need to safeguard themselves and their families, especially during these unprecedented times,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak. “While it’s always important to be insured, regardless of age, health, income or life circumstances, the global coronavirus pandemic has certainly magnified the importance of healthcare coverage and the invaluable peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you are covered and protected should you or someone in your family become ill or injured.”
Nevada Health Link was able to implement the SEP because it operates its own exchange and is therefore independent of the federal health insurance platform, HealthCare.gov. Nevada is one of only 13 states that operates its own exchange and was able to offer this opportunity to its residents.
All plans sold by the Exchange cover COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment and are considered Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) that also cover the ten essential health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act, including pre-existing conditions, maternity and newborn care, mental health, preventive care, and pediatric dental care.
Nevada Health Link wants to clarify that insurance is NOT required to be tested for COVID-19; and the emergency regulation signed by the Governor provides that there is no cost to consumers for medical services related to testing for COVID-19.