UPDATE: Silver State Health Insurance Exchange is ahead of last year’s pace in enrolling people in federally subsidized health insurance plans. Through the first 30 days of open enrollment, 17,925 Nevada residents have enrolled — 473 more than last year, when Nevada Health Link provided coverage for a record number of people. The number was released on Thursday. Original story appears below:


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Holidays and concerns for better health can often go hand in hand, and no one should put off an important task: getting health insurance coverage.

People who don’t qualify for employer-provided insurance, Medicare or Medicaid should be thinking about getting coverage at a discount at NevadaHealthLink.com.

About a month into open enrollment, more than 16,000 Nevadans have already signed up, according to Ryan High, executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, the agency that runs Nevada Health Link. That’s pretty much on pace with last year, when 17,452 people had enrolled through Dec. 1, he said. The agency will announce the exact number sometime on Thursday.

Last year, a record 101,409 people used Nevada Health Link.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of being insured and prioritizing your health and safeguarding you and your family against unplanned medical costs,” High said.

“The main priority at the Exchange is that all Nevadans know their options and have access to affordable and qualified health insurance plans. We want uninsured and underinsured Nevadans to know that Nevada Health Link is an option available to them and there are plenty of resources available to help them pick the right plan, while also being the only place to offer subsidies to help bring down monthly premium costs,” High said.

Open enrollment began on Nov. 1, and if you sign up for a health plan by Dec. 31, you will have coverage beginning on Jan. 1. Open enrollment continues through Jan. 15. If you have submitted an application by then, you will still have a few days to choose your plan. Coverage won’t begin until Feb. 1.

High said there’s always a surge in applications in December. But most people push the deadlines.

Katie Charleson, communications officer for Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, said, “Getting enrolled in health insurance can be a daunting and confusing process for many people, so don’t hesitate to find a licensed enrollment professional in your area that can help you find a plan within your budget and ensure you have everything you need when it comes time to enroll.”

And you might be surprised how far your money will go.

“Most consumers are surprised to find out they qualify for subsidies and plans are more affordable than they originally thought,” Charleson said.