Governor Sandoval Says Nevada Exchange Options Coming to All Nevada Counties
Governor Sandoval is in Silver Springs Tuesday morning and is expected to make an announcement about healthcare in the silver state.
Governor Sandoval announced in Silver Springs Tuesday morning that Centene Corporation, also known as SilverSummit in Nevada, will be offering health insurance through the exchange for all Nevadans in 2018.
"There will be no Nevada counties without a health insurance option in the great state of Nevada," Governor Sandoval says.
Earlier this month Anthem announced they would not be offering plans through Healthcare.gov which left some Nevadans with just two options to healthcare through the exchange, and Nevadans in 14 counties without any options. Read more on this issue here. When that was announced Governor Sandoval emphasized that his office and the state would be working to find a solution for individuals and families.
"That news of having bare counties in our state was a gut punch for me," Sandoval said. "It was inconceivable to me that we would not have health care coverage in 14 of our counties in our state."
Tuesday morning the governor happily announced that SilverSummit would be filling that gap. "Today's announcement will ensure that more than 8,000 Nevadans will have the ability to exercise their option to utilize Nevada's online marketplace and secure coverage for their families." Governor Sandoval said.
This means that Nevada residents in Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Pershing, Storey and White Pine counties will have an option through the exchange for 2018.
"They were panicking," Sandoval said. "They didn't know what to do. They didn't know where to turn. Those are the people we all, as public servants, have to keep in mind when you have a crisis like this."
SilverSummit is using its comprehensive insurance plan but it does not have much of a network in Nevada. That is why they are teaming up with Hometown Health, leasing their network. That allows people to have access to doctors and clinics in their own cities and counties. Without the cooperation of the two companies, it is likely those counties would be left without insurance through the ACA.
"That goes against the grain of our mission and our vision and so we had to ensure that we found a solution for it," Ty Windfeldt, CEO of Hometown Health said. "We would've done anything that we had to have done to make sure that there was a plan available."
The news is also a relief to people at the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, who's summer has been full of uncertainties because of federal regulations and the withdrawal of insurance companies.
"It's been an incredibly tense few months and this is one of the best new pieces of news we've had from the exchange in a long time," Heather Korbulic, Executive Director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange said. "Looking forward to hopefully building on that momentum."
Current users of the exchange will automatically get a new plan that is similar to the one they already have, but they are encouraged to do their own research.
"Across the state, plans are going to change and providers will be different," Korbulic said. "So, everybody needs to take a look at their plans they're going to purchase and get what's right for their family and their needs."
You can read Governor Sandoval's full statement below.
Senator Dean Heller released a statement applauding Centene's announcement. He said he was proud to work with Governor Sandoval to ensure all of Nevada's 17 counties have options to purchase healthcare next year. “Nevadans have been left with dwindling choices when it comes to their health care coverage, and it’s more evidence that Obamacare is failing," Heller continued. "That’s why I continue to work for health care solutions – like the Graham-Cassidy-Heller plan – that return power to the states, protect Nevada’s most vulnerable, and repeal Obamacare’s onerous mandates that continue to squeeze hardworking Nevadans who can least afford it.”
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto too applauded Centene for the decision to come to Nevada. "Nevadans should have access to quality, affordable health care regardless of whether they live in Las Vegas or Tuscarora" she wrote in a statement. Cortez Masto wrote that today's announcement reflected Governor Sandoval's hard work and that she hopes when Congress returns from August Recess there can be some bipartisan work on healthcare solutions.