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Silver State Health Exchange offering fewer benefits for health insurance in 2022

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Nov 01, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Open Enrollment for Nevada's public health insurance policies, The Silver State Health Exchange, began Monday allowing people access to coverage through 2022 with federal and state subsidies to help with affordability.

Several cost-saving measures many Nevadans have relied on since the passage of the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) in March 2021 won't be carried over into the new year, however, potentially leading to people leaving the public exchanges and going uninsured.

Any Nevadan who claimed unemployment for at least one week in 2020 and 2021 were given access to $0 premium plans essentially giving them access to health insurance at no cost.

Despite still being offered as a perk on the Nevada Health Link Enrollment portal, Silver State Health Exchange representatives said access to the $0 premium plans based on unemployment will expire at the end of this year unless Congress passes another spending package extending the program.

Unemployment in Las Vegas reached a high of 9.8% in January 2021.

The ARP also authorized the federal government to pay 100% of COBRA, extended jobless insurance, premiums and that provision expired in September.

Other ARP provisions do last through 2022 allowing people who will be enrolling during the open enrollment period to continue receiving extra benefits and tax credits lowering their premiums.

Through the end of 2022, anyone making less than 400% of the federal poverty level, around $51,000 for an individual and $104,000 for a family of four, are eligible to receive federal tax credits against premium cost, and exchange representatives said many people would be eligible to pay $0 for premiums.

Nevada's uninsured rate has lowered since the beginning of the pandemic, but 11% of Nevadans are still without health insurance.

Open enrollment through Nevada Health Link ends on January 15.