CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) – One down, and now, the fear that more insurance companies may follow was the concerns of Insurance Commissioner Barbara Richardson, who issued a statement Monday in response to insurance carrier Anthem’s announcement that it will be withdrawing plans from Nevada’s Health Insurance Exchange in 2018.
“On July 28, 2017, Anthem submitted a Notice of Intent to withdraw from the Silver State Exchange for Plan Year 2018. As such, Anthem will no longer have a presence in Nevada’s individual health market with the exception of catastrophic plans which can only be purchased off the Exchange throughout the state. These plans restrict availability to consumers under 30 years old or with a low income,” Richardson said.
Prior to this notice, Anthem had submitted filings to offer Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) in Clark, Washoe and Nye counties. Based on the rate submissions to the Division of Insurance received from Anthem, they proposed an average rate increase of 62 percent. This proposed rate increase did not reflect the potential elimination of payments to insurance carriers for Cost Share Reductions (CSRs). Loss of the Cost Sharing Reduction payments has the potential to increase further rates in the Nevada market.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval also expressed deep concerns Monday about Anthem’s decision.
“I’m frustrated and disappointed with Anthem’s surprise and abrupt decision to leave the healthcare exchange especially during uncertain times. This is a significant blow to the state’s individual marketplace, however, residents in Washoe, Clark and Nye counties who have purchased from the state-based exchange will still have two providers to purchase from during the next open enrollment period,” Sandoval said.
“My office is in regular contact with the two remaining providers in order to ensure there will continue to be options for the more than 80,000 Nevadans who purchase insurance throughout the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. These efforts include working to find a solution for the individuals and families in potential so-called “bare counties.”
Anthem’s announcement follows a notice earlier last month when Anthem withdrew from the Silver State Exchange in 14 counties, leaving consumers in those counties without an option on the Exchange for Plan Year 2018.
“While the Division is disappointed in Anthem’s latest decision regarding its withdrawals, we believed that it was in the interest of the Nevada public to let consumers know about the Anthem decision as soon as possible,” said Commissioner Richardson. “The Division continues to work with our state partners on attracting an insurance carrier to serve the 14 bare counties and to support the stability of the market for those insurance carriers who remain,” Richardson said.
“We are also working with our state partners on a plan to help consumers shop the Exchange market at open enrollment for the 2018 Plan Year and remain optimistic that there will be coverage for consumers on the Exchange throughout the state.”