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February 28, 2015

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White House says Nevada doing a good job implementing new health care law

WASHINGTON -- The White House released a progress report on the state of health insurance exchanges across the country today, highlighting Nevada as one of 10 states on the road to establishing a standardized system of providing health care.

Health care exchanges, which states are required to implement under the new health care law, have been a flashpoint on the campaign trail for the last several months. They are at the heart of the Republican complaint that the government is trying to impose its will over the health care marketplace, and at the center of the lawsuit that will come before the Supreme Court on the health care bill this spring.

Nonetheless, 28 states -- including Nevada -- are already “on their way toward establishing their own Affordable Insurance Exchange,” according to the government report.

Last spring, Nevada received a partial, temporary waiver for implementing certain exchange requirements of the health care law. But the state’s still moving ahead toward the original 2014 deadline to establish the basic insurance exchange.

The state Legislature adopted a bill to set up the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange last June, a seven-member board was appointed in September, and Jon Hager, former CFO of the state public employee benefits plan, stepped in as executive director in December.

Nevada received a $4 million establishment grant from the federal government last summer to assist with the set-up and planning of the operation.

That Nevada was profiled is not any sort of endorsement by the Obama administration of its efforts thus far as a national model; the White House pointed out in the report that they only “illustrate the diversity of approaches and progress being made.”

The first major task of the appointed chairman and board will be to select a minimum, benchmark standard against which health plans participating in the system will be compared, and around which the exchange will function. In December, the federal Department of Health and Human services outlined the proposed guidelines for setting such a benchmark, from which states are allowed to pick a governing standard:

• one of the three largest small-group plans in the state

• one of the three largest state employee health plans

• one of the three largest federal employee health plan options

• the largest HMO plan offered in the state’s commercial market.

Nevada has not yet made any decisions on that front.

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  1. What a crock! My wife and I moved here from NY 2.5 years ago. Neither one of us can get decent health care in NV without paying exorbitant rates with big deductibles. She has an online business in NY State with her girlfriend and we have Empire BC/BS there. We tried to get insurance here but she has a 'fatty liver' which 91% of the population has and I'm a type II Diabetic. We were told not to even bother applying here.

  2. Paul, did you leave NY with a good cheap health care plan? Are you old enough to check with Generation America or AARP?
    This is a crock. We had full statewide waivers according to published documents. Now, only partial? Our government at work...and remember, this is Harry's newspaper, with his, we may just have full health care in place..we just don't know it.

  3. My Wife was quoted $ 3,000 per month for BC/BS individual Coverage in NC, because she had a knee replacement within 5 years. She did without insurance and now has Medicare. Obama Plan will continue to reward these Greedy Insurance Companies whose only mission is to pay as little and infrequently as possible. We need a Medicare Public Option, where everyone can purchase their policy at Cost +10% and Let Insurance Industry Compete instead of Buying Off the Politicians to protect the Millions in CEO Salaries.

  4. That they like what NV is doing is a bad sign for NV. RINO/DINO politics are good for Washington but bad for NV.