LAS VEGAS -- There is a lot of confusion surrounding the new healthcare law, leaving many Nevada residents unsure of where to go for coverage.
State insurance leaders want to make it clear they have nothing to do with the flawed federal website healthcare.gov.
They say Nevada's website, Nevada HealthLink, is safe and ready to use. Nevada HealthLink is where people need to go to buy coverage if they are uninsured and state insurance leaders say people should have few problems.
Nevada was one of 14 states that opted to create its own healthcare insurance exchange program. The other 36 states opted to use the federal exchanges, which is what healthcare.gov is for.
"There is confusion out there," executive director of Silver State Health Exchange Jon Hager said.
On Thursday, Hager was anxious to separate Nevada HealthLink from the problem- plagued federal website, saying it is safe for Nevadans to use.
"We have not experienced the issues that the federal site has had," Hager said.
Nevada's insurance commissioner worked to reassure consumers, speaking to people both in Carson City and the Las Vegas valley in a video conference.
"It is our intent to make sure that consumers get as much information as possible," Division of Insurance Commissioner Scott Kipper said.
The Silver State Health Exchange is now doing damage control to show Nevada HealthLink is different.
"You see the national healthcare system and the national healthcare, healthcare.gov, that site is having a lot of problems. It is not functioning correctly, users aren't getting through," communications director for Silver State Health Exchange CJ Bawden said.
While Nevada HealthLink has experienced some internet browser compatibility issues, insurance leaders say there have been few problems. Now, the Division of Insurance says education is the key.
"We plan on having a number of workshops around the state to gather input as we further develop this regulation," Kipper said.
So far, Nevada HealthLink has had 3.4 million web visits and thousands have selected plans. The Division of Insurance expects that number to grow as people feel more confident using the state's website.
State insurance leaders are also anxious to reassure people about using licensed healthcare navigators. These are people who can help Nevadans sign up for health insurance. Not only have they been through background checks and undergone extensive training, but they also have a QR code people can scan to double check their credentials.