Nevada runs its own Marketplace where residents can enroll in health insurance and apply for subsidies.
Nevada and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
Nevada had the second-highest uninsured rate (21%) in the country when Obamacare was implemented in 2013. More than half a million residents out of a population of nearly 2.8 million were uninsured at this time.
The uninsured rate dropped to 14% in 2014, which is the same year Nevada adopted Medicaid expansion.1 The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allowed states to use federal funding to expand Medicaid to low-income adults without children. Since the expansion, nearly 212,000 childless adults in Nevada gained coverage.2
Nevada has about 339,000 (11% of the population) residents who have no health insurance as of 2018. But this 11% uninsured rate is a major improvement from where it was back in 2013.
What You Need to Know
Nevada had one of the highest uninsured rates before Obamacare was implemented.
The Silver State operates its own health insurance exchange, Nevada Health Link.
Eight insurance carriers offer individual plans for 2021. If you miss open enrollment, you can still apply if you have special circumstances in your life.
Nevada Health Plans for Individuals, Families, and Self-Employed Entrepreneurs
You can buy ACA health insurance in Nevada for yourself or you and your family. If you’re self-employed with no employees, you have the same options. Obamacare plans provide comprehensive coverage that includes essential health benefits, such as outpatient care and prescription drug coverage. Plans that cover children must also provide them with vision and dental benefits.
Nevada insurance carriers offer bronze, expanded bronze, silver, and gold plans that cover a percentage of your healthcare costs. For example, bronze plans pay 60% of your costs after you meet your deductible. Expanded bronze plans offer the same benefits, but they cover more of your medical care before you reach your deductible.
Companies also offer catastrophic health insurance plans. These plans are typically sold to adults under 30 who tend to have fewer healthcare needs. But you can still enroll if you’re older and qualify for a hardship exemption.
Nevada Health Insurance Marketplace
Nevada operates a state-run Marketplace called Nevada Health Link. The 2021 enrollment period begins on November 1, 2020 and ends on January 15, 2021.3 Before 2019, Nevadans enrolled in Obamacare through the federal exchange at Healthcare.gov.
Residents who miss open enrollment can still get coverage through the Marketplace if they have a qualifying life event (such as marriage or childbirth)
COVID Special Enrollment Period
Nevadans who have not enrolled in a health insurance policy can do so during a Special Enrollment Period from February 15, 2021 through May 15, 2021.
Health Insurance Companies in Nevada
Eight insurance carriers offer 2021 plans through Nevada’s Health Insurance Marketplace on or off the exchange.4 You can choose from bronze, expanded bronze, silver, gold, and catastrophic health plans.
- Friday Health Plans of Nevada
- Health Plan of Nevada
- HMO Nevada (Anthem)
- Hometown Health Plan (off exchange only)
- Hometown Health Providers Insurance Company (off exchange only)
- Sierra Health and Life Insurance Company (off exchange only)
- SilverSummith Health Plan
Nevada Health Insurance Costs
Nevada premiums for the lowest-cost bronze and silver plans dropped about $20 to $25 from 2019 to 2020. Meanwhile, the lowest-cost gold plan premium rose about $32 during this time.
For 2021, the average unsubsidized premium will go up by 4.85%, or $24 a month.5
Below are the average monthly premiums for Nevada Marketplace plans from 2019 to 2020:
- Average Lowest-cost Bronze Premium: $307 in 2020 | $327 in 2019
- Average Lowest-cost Silver Premium: $372 in 2020 | $397 in 2019
- Average Lowest-cost Gold Premium: $482 in 2020 | $450 in 2019
Can I Get Help With Marketplace Premiums in Nevada?
It depends on your income and household size.
You qualify for premium tax credits, or subsidies, through Nevada Health Link if you make between 138% and 400%6 of the federal poverty level (FPL). This range comes out to $17,609 and $51,040 for a single person in 2020. A family of three can earn from $29,974 to $86,880 in 2020.
The average subsidy among Nevada Marketplace enrollees was $423 in 2019. Eighty-seven percent of enrollees received premium tax credits at this time.7
Make sure you understand the coverage limitations before you enroll. You also want to compare all your options to make the best choice.
What About Medicaid for Low-Income Nevadans?
About two in seven Nevadans earn less than 200% of the FPL (up to $25,520 for a single person in 2020). But to qualify for Medicaid in Nevada, you must make no more than 138% of the FPL (up to $17,609 for an individual in 2020).
The program is available to citizens and legal residents who fit the following categories:8
- Children under 19
- Parents and caretakers of minor children
- Pregnant women
- Seniors 65 and older
- Blind individuals and people with disabilities
Nevada’s Medicaid office also runs a children’s health insurance program called Nevada Check Up. It covers kids from birth to 18 in households that earn up to 200% of the FPL ($26,200 to $52,400 for a family of four in 2020).
Medicare in Nevada for Seniors and People With Disabilities
About 519,000 Nevadans are enrolled in Medicare.9 The majority(87%) are 65 or older, while the rest are younger adults with disabilities.10 Among enrollees, about two in three have Original Medicare, which is the traditional program run by the federal government. It includes Part A hospital and Part B medical insurance.
Other Nevadans get Part A and B through private Medicare Advantage plans. These plans often come with Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
Companies also offer individual Part D drug plans, which are often paired with Original Medicare. Roughly 173,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Nevada bought this plan in 2018.11
Another option for Original Medicare enrollees is Medicare Supplement, also called Medigap. Nevada offers 10 standard Medigap plans that help cover out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
Buying Nevada Short-Term Health Insurance to Fill a Coverage Gap
You may consider getting short-term coverage if you need temporary insurance with basic benefits. Fewer benefits usually make these plans cheaper than Obamacare. But unlike Obamacare, short-term plans aren’t required to offer minimum essential coverage or cover preexisting conditions.
Here are some reasons to buy short-term health insurance:
- You’re between job
- You’re waiting for new health insurance to kick in
- You missed the open enrollment period to get Obamacare
- You aged off your parent’s health plan because you turned 26
No matter what option you decide on for you and your family, make sure you understand the coverage limitations before you enroll. You also want to compare all your Nevada health insurance options to make the best choice.