Insurer pulls out of 14 Nevada counties, including Carson City | RecordCourier.com

Insurer pulls out of 14 Nevada counties, including Carson City

Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

Anthem, one of the nation's major providers of health insurance, has decided it will no longer offer qualified health plans in Nevada except in Clark, Washoe and Nye counties.

The company notified the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange it was cutting coverage in Douglas County, Carson City, and Nevada's other 12 counties beginning in 2018.

That means people who currently purchase health insurance on the exchange but live outside those three counties will no longer have access to any Qualified Health Plans or access to their federal subsidies.

Gov. Brian Sandoval said his administration will work to find solutions to ensure there's at least a safety net for rural Nevadans who will have no coverage options.

“While there are plenty of arguments on how to fix this, regardless of your political views, it’s clear the status quo isn’t working and is in need of serious repair. Once again, I’m left wondering when is Congress going to put the issue ahead of the politics.”Rep. Mark Amodei

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"I have communicated the news of this crisis to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and the state will pursue all available options to help the individuals and families who will be hurt by this decision," said Sandoval in a statement.

He said the decision will leave more than 8,000 Nevadans without coverage, which he said is unacceptable.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said unfortunately, that news didn't come as a shock.

"While there are plenty of arguments on how to fix this, regardless of your political views, it's clear the status quo isn't working and is in need of serious repair," said Amodei. "Once again, I'm left wondering when is Congress going to put the issue ahead of the politics?"

Sandoval said the expansion of Medicaid and subsidies for health care plans in Nevada dramatically reduced the state's number of uninsured.

"Lack of coverage in rural Nevada will set back the years of work we have done to reduce the uninsured rate throughout our state," he said.

Sandoval said his office will work with the exchange and federal government to find a solution.

Exchange Director Heather Korbulic said she and her staff will do everything in their control to secure more resources for people in those counties.

"My administration is working diligently to identify solutions to ensure that there is, at the very least, a safety net available to rural Nevada residents," she said.