Thousands Left Without Insurance as Nevada Health Co-Op Shuts Down

Brianna Weidman
Thousands Left Without Insurance as Nevada Health Co-Op Shuts Down

Thousands of Nevadans will be left without insurance coverage come January 1, 2016, when the Nevada Health Co-Op (NHC) closes its doors.

If you are a member of the NHC, you have several options for continued health coverage:

  • Visit Nevada Health Link to learn about carriers selling policies through the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.
  • Check to see if you have access to a health insurance plan through your employer.
  • Enroll in a Marketplace Plan. To see if you might qualify for a premium-reduction tax credit, click here.
  • Enroll in an ACA Plan outside the Marketplace.
  • Purchase short-term medical (STM) insurance.

*Note: Because a short-term medical policy does not meet ACA requirements, it is best suited for the waiting period between the day you purchase your new ACA plan and the day the plan becomes effective. Buying the policies together in this way ensures that you have health coverage every day, while also avoiding tax penalties.

Nevada Health Co-Op Closing Its Doors

The NHC, a consumer-owned and operated health plan, is one of five insurance carriers selling under the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, which was established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2011. Amy Parks, Acting Commissioner for the Nevada Division of Insurance, says the other four carriers will not be affected by this closure.

Current members of the NHC will need new coverage by January 1, 2016, and may begin open enrollment starting November 1, 2015.

Though the NHC cites "challenging market conditions" as the cause of the closure, the company pledges its commitment to honoring individual health plans throughout the 2015 year. For this coverage to remain in effect through December 31, 2015, officials say that members will need to continue paying their premiums. Claims will be paid under the same terms of the plan, and members can continue seeing their health plans' medical providers.

Further guidance for NHC members can be found in the press release issued by the Nevada Division of Insurance.

What is the ACA?

The goal of the Affordable Care Act is to ensure that all U.S. citizens and legal residents have access to affordable health insurance. Signed into federal law in 2010, the ACA created the Health Insurance Marketplace, a new way for families and individuals to obtain insurance coverage.

Under the ACA, most Americans are required to have health insurance. If you don't have coverage, you'll pay a fine of 2.5% of your income or $695 per person on your taxes in 2016.

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