RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Typically, if Nevadans didn’t enroll in insurance by the December 2019 deadline they were out of luck.
For those who signed up for a plan, they were committed to that policy for a year。 That is unless they had a life changing event like pregnancy, marriage, or loss of job。
With the governor’s state of emergency declaration, those who did not sign up for health insurance by the December 15, 2019 deadline have another chance to buy health insurance.
The move is called a "Onetime only exceptional circumstance special enrollment period" which began on March 17, 2020 and goes until April 15th。
“We absolutely want to talk to anyone who is eligible for subsidies,” says Heather Korbulic, Executive Director of the Silver State Health Exchange。 “Meaning your income level is between 138 to 400% of the poverty level。 Roughly $12,000 to $40,000。 Those people are going to be eligible for subsidies。 But anyone can buy a plan on the exchange。 So if you don’t have insurance and are not eligible for subsidies。 You are still eligible to purchase one of our plans,” says Korbulic
A life changing event like loss of a job, which is a prospect some Nevadans may be facing, may also allow a person to enroll or change a current policy.
And job loss may mean the person is eligible for subsidies as well。
“This is something。 It is a tool that we have at Nevada Health Link to deploy in this exceptional circumstance and the governor is very supportive of this endeavor,” says Korbulic。 She says Governor Sisolak, “Wants Nevada to have comprehensive health care regardless of the health scare。 But more specifically now in light of it。”
The emergency declaration means a patient cannot be charged for services related to COVID 19 testing。
Last year Nevada decided to go to a state-based exchange rather than continue with the federal exchange.
Korbulic says the move has made this additional open enrollment period possible.
“You can only do it if you are a state based exchange,” she says。 “So if we had previously been on Healthcare。gov, last year we wouldn’t have been able to do this。”
Individuals seeking a special enrollment are encouraged to contact the Customer Assistance Call Center between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1-800-547-2927; TTY: 711. The Call Center will extend its hours on Saturday’s and Sunday’s (except for Easter Sunday) from March 21 through April 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. PST. The Exchange recommends working with a certified broker or navigator to enroll in the SEP. Nevada Health Link offers language assistance and if you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a disability, accommodations are provided at no cost.
Copyright KOLO-TV 2020