Anthem announced Monday that it will be withdrawing plans from Nevada’s Health Exchange in 2018. This means if you get insurance through in 2018, Anthem no longer will be an option for Nevadans. The insurance company says market volatility and uncertainty at the federal level are the reasons why they are pulling out of the exchange.

"I think they have decided to reduce their footprint and wanted to rip the Band-Aid sooner than later, but unfortunately, it's going to affect a lot of Nevada consumers," Janel Davis, Communications Officer for Silver State Health Insurance Exchange said. "Really, their reason always goes back to this federal instability in Washington, D.C."

The move leaves just two insurance carriers on Nevada's insurance exchange in 2018.  The 21,000 people who use Anthem will automatically be transitioned to a new carrier with a similar plan, but Davis says customers should shop around.  Open enrollment runs from November 1 to December 15.

"Plans are changing, networks are changing, premiums are changing," Davis said. "Get with an in-person assistor, talk to a broker, talk to a navigator, talk to an insurance professional to make sure that that plan, you will be crosswalked to, is appropriate for your budgeting needs and for your health needs for you and your family."

Anthem will only offer an off-exchange catastrophic medical plan, statewide. The decision does not affect employer-based insurance or people who use Medicaid, Medicare or "grandfathered" plans purchased before March, 2010.

Nevada Insurance Commissioner Barbara Richardson issued the following statement in response to a request by Anthem under Nevada Revised Statute 679B.190(5)(b): 

“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” states Commissioner Barbara 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 earlier last month 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” declared Commissioner 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.”

If you have concerns about your coverage, Silver State Health Exchanges suggests you call them at 855-768-5465.

Anthem released this statement on Individual Market Participation

After significant dialogue with state leaders and regulators Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has made the difficult decision to revise our rate filing for our 2018 Individual plan offerings in Nevada. 

While we are pleased that some steps have been taken to address the long term challenges all health plans serving the Individual market are facing, the Individual market remains volatile. A stable insurance market is dependent on products that create value for consumers through the broad spreading of risk and a known set of conditions upon which rates can be developed.  Today, planning and pricing for ACA-compliant health plans has become increasingly difficult due to a shrinking and deteriorating individual market, as well as continual changes and uncertainty in federal operations, rules and guidance, including cost sharing reduction subsidies and the restoration of taxes on fully insured coverage. 

Specifically, Anthem will reduce its 2018 Individual plan offering in Nevada and will only offer an off-exchange catastrophic medical plan statewide. It’s important to note, this decision does not affect those who have employer based insurance or individuals enrolled in Medicaid, Medicare or “grandfathered” plans (plans purchased before March 2010).  

Our commitment to members has always been to provide greater access to affordable, quality healthcare, and we will continue to advocate solutions that will stabilize the market and allow us to return to a more robust presence in Nevada in the future.  

Governor Brian Sandoval issued the following statement 

“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.’” – Governor Brian Sandoval  

U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV.) released the following statement on Anthem’s decision to leave Nevada’s health care market:
“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.”

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(Nevada Division of Insurance contributed to this report.)