LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s complicated. Maybe you got fired, or maybe it was your decision to leave. Maybe you’ve had enough of bosses. Maybe it’s time to strike out on your own. Maybe you have new priorities, and it took the Great Resignation for you to recognize them. Maybe you retired.
Whatever the reason, you are going into 2023 with the prospect of no health insurance. The working world isn’t always everyone’s favorite place to be, but a full-time job usually brings benefits that we sometimes take for granted — until they’re not there anymore.
Starting Tuesday, you can sign up for 2023 health care coverage through Nevada Health Link. But you don’t have to wait until then to start shopping. The “find a plan” link in the upper right-hand corner of nevadahealthlink.com allows you to “anonymously shop” for health coverage before it goes on sale Tuesday.
And when you’re ready to enroll, you can get plenty of help, according to Ryan High, executive director of Silver State Health Exchange. That’s the Nevada agency behind Nevada Health Link.
A call center at 1-800-547-2927 is in place to help with questions.
Free assistance is available to navigate the process of buying health insurance. And Nevada Health Link is the only place you can get federal subsidies when shopping for private insurance policies, High said.
“We’re a solution for those consumers who don’t have employer-sponsored health care, Medicaid or Medicare,” High said.
The open enrollment period runs through Jan. 15, but High recommends signing up before the end of the year to get a policy that begins coverage on Jan. 1. If you enroll from Jan. 1-15, coverage will go into effect on Feb. 1.
The choices have continued to grow, with seven providers and 163 different plans available this time around. (Availability of each planned depends on where you live.) And affordability is a big reason to go through Nevada Health Link.
A news conference is scheduled at 10 a.m. on Nov. 1 at the Southern Nevada Health District, 280 S. Decatur Blvd., with a community health fair to follow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
High took over at Silver State Health Exchange as enrollment skyrocketed to more than 100,000 people as 2022 began. He said it was a 24% increase in enrollment. One of the biggest factors in that growth was the effect of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which provided subsidies for insurance coverage. Those subsidies have been extended.
High expects challenges in the coming year as government agencies deal with the official end of the public health emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. That step could affect coverage for those who retained their coverage under rules in place during the emergency — rules that will expire sometime next year. There will be a 60-day notice.
“Imagine 900,000-plus people, all on Medicaid,” High said. “If they haven’t been examined in nearly two years, they might have to be redetermined for Medicaid eligibility.” He expects tens of thousands of those people to be confronted with losing their Medicaid coverage.
“It’s very important to us that people don’t lose access to health care coverage,” High said.