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Statement on Heller & Trump Sabotaging Health Insurance Exchange for Rural Nevadans

Carson City, NV – Today, news broke that Anthem will stop offering health plans under the Affordable Care Act in nearly all of Nevada’s rural counties, specifically blaming the uncertainty caused by the Republican health care plan in the U.S. Senate. Roughly 8,000 rural Nevadans will lose their access to insurance, with no alternatives to buy a different plan on the exchange. Prominence also decided to pull out of the state’s exchange entirely.

From Stewart Boss, Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson: “Nevada families are already feeling the harmful effects of the Republican health care agenda in Washington, and Senator Heller – who has voted 20 times to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act – is a major part of the problem. The uncertainty and instability caused by Dean Heller and Senate Republicans continuing their efforts to pass their toxic health care plan, combined with the GOP’s efforts to disrupt the exchanges, is now creating havoc in Nevada’s rural counties. The thousands of Nevadans who will lose their health care plans or lose access to health insurance through the exchange have Dean Heller and Donald Trump to blame for this turmoil.”

Reno Gazette-Journal: BREAKING: Rural Nevada to lose all Obamacare plans next year

Anjeanette Damon
Published 1:01 p.m. PT June 28, 2017

Key Points:

  • Blaming the uncertainty over health care reform in the U.S. Senate, insurance carriers will stop offering plans under the Affordable Care Act in nearly all of Nevada’s rural counties, including Carson City and Douglas County.
  • In total, about 8,000 Nevadans will lose their insurance, with no options to buy a different plan on the exchange. More than 5,000 of the people affected live in Carson City, Douglas, Storey and Lyon counties.
  • Prominence, one of the state’s three exchange carriers, has decided to pull out of the exchange entirely. Prominence sold plans in Washoe, Carson City and Clark. The changes will affect about 13,000 Nevadans who currently purchase plans on the exchange.
  • The deadline for insurance carriers to apply to provide plans on the federal health exchange passed two weeks ago with no applications to cover 14 rural Nevada counties, said Glenn Shippey, an analyst with the state insurance commission. Only Anthem currently sells plans on the exchange in those counties.
  • The news shocked the members of the Silver State Health Exchange board, who decried efforts by the U.S. Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Heather Korbulic, the exchange’s director, described the situation as a “health care crisis for rural Nevada.” […] “Federal instability over cost-sharing and the elimination of the individual mandate has created a very unstable market,” Korbulic said. “Today we are seeing the result of this instability.”
  • Insurance Commissioner Barbara Richardson said the changes proposed by Republicans in the U.S. Senate would make plans offered in rural Nevada so expensive that few could afford them.
  • Exchange board members were irate over attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. “This is an attempt to continue to be able to say the ACA is failing, and, of course, to pressure people to then vote for what I perceive to be a diabolical bill that would provide health care to very few and provide an awful lot of money to the very rich,” said board member Lavonne Lewis.
  • U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., also decried Anthem’s decision to pull out of rural Nevada. “The uncertainty caused by Republicans and President Trump threatening to repeal the Affordable Care Act and toying with people’s healthcare is resulting in health-insurers leaving critical markets, thus hurting Nevadans’ access to life-saving care and jeopardizing the lives of many,” said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.