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CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) – While the official deadline to enroll in health insurance plans for 2018 has passed, many Nevadans may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that enables them to get coverage outside the normal Open Enrollment window, which closed on December 15, 2017. The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (Exchange), Nevada’s state agency that helps people get affordable health coverage through the online marketplace, Nevada Health Link, is encouraging consumers to contact an enrollment professional to find out if their circumstances make them eligible to enroll at any time during the year.

Examples of Qualifying Life Events (QLEs) include loss of employer-based coverage, changes in income and changes in family size through marriage, divorce or the birth of a child. Other qualifying events and circumstances include enduring natural disasters such as earthquake, hurricane or flood; plan information or technical errors that occur duing the enrollment process; improper determination regarding eligibility for Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); spousal abandonment; and more.

“There are many residents who don’t realize that while we have a specific window for Open Enrollment, there are QLEs that allow them to sign up for health insurance year-round,” said Heather Korbulic, Executive Director of the Exchange. “We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to safeguard yourself with insurance, because all it takees is one visit to the hospital to put many families into bankruptcy. There are many brokers and navigators available to assist Nevada residents in evaluating their needs and determining the best course of action to finding coverage,” Korbulic said.

Consumers who had an Anthem or Prominence health plan that terminated on December 31 because it’s no longer being offered in Nevada have a 60-day SEP (until March 1) to enroll in individual health coverage and shop for a new plan in the marketplace. To find out if you’re eligible for a SEP, visit NevadaHealthLink.com.

Despite the political rhetoric surrounding the Affordable Care Act and the shortened enrollment period, the Exchange enrolled a record-breaking 91,003 Nevadans during its fifth Open Enrollment season, which included 29,212 new enrollees and 61,791 returning customers. There was a surge of 22,716 new and returning customers in the last week alone. The Exchange attributes much of the success to the state-run outreach and education efforts, which included 47 Navigators, three Broker Agency grantees, and more than 100 participating brokers.

The Exchange was established per Nevada Revised Statues (NRS) in 2011 by the State of Nevada, and operations began in 2013, on the belief that all Nevadans deserve access to health insurance. Nevada Health Link, the state-based online marketplace, supported by healthcare.gov, allows Nevadans to shop for health insurance and provides federal tax credits and subsidies to help cover the cost of insurance for those who qualify. For more information about health insurance offered through Nevada Health Link, call 1-855-768-5465, vist http://www.nevadahealthlink.com, subscribe to Nevada Health Link’s blog, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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