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Deadline looms to apply for health insurance during special enrollment period in Nevada

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Posted at 4:06 AM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 22:22:49-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The deadline to sign up for health care through Nevada Health Link is May 15.

If you need health insurance and haven't signed up yet, you might want to jump on it.

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If you are not on Medicare, Medicaid, and don't have insurance through your jobs, Nevada Health Link can connect you to providers offering health and dental plans depending on your income.

"It is important for everybody to have insurance and have that access to healthcare but right now it's is critical because of the threat of the pandemic," said Janel Davis of Nevada Health Link, explaining the reason why there’s a special enrollment period going on right now.

It allows Nevadans who are currently uninsured or those with qualifying life changes to sign up for health insurance coverage.

The available plans all cover 10 essential health benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act, including pre-existing conditions.

"In response to this pandemic, a lot of people are losing their income," she said. "They're losing their jobs and therefore they're losing their health insurance, their employer sponsored health insurance."

If you recently became unemployed or have had any qualifying life changes, like getting married or having a child, you can enroll in a health plan beyond the current May 15 deadline.

"If that life change occurs you normally have 60 days to enroll in a plan."

But what if you’re already covered and you’re struggling to pay?

"We really encourage you to reach out to your health insurance carrier and work with them," said Davis. "Tell them, I lost my job I'm struggling paying for this health plan but I don't want to lose my benefits."

"You may be eligible to receive more subsidies or financial assistance from the federal government," she added.

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Davis also says watch out for scammers trying to sell low cost COVID-19 health coverage.

"Testing should be free it should be included if you're already enrolled in a health insurance plan," she said. "You do not need to purchase an extra plan for COVID-19 testing."

That’s why it’s important to only go to nevadahealthlink.com to enroll.

You can also find out if you are eligible to enroll during this special period on that website.