Nevada health exchange aims for enrollee retention, increase

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Officials from the Nevada state health insurance exchange have announced plans focusing on enrollee retention following its split from the federal website.

The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange switched back to a state-based exchange following its departure from Healthcare.gov, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports .

Its first enrollment period is set for Nov. 1, exchange officials said. The hope is to stabilize enrollee numbers after last year's 7,000-count decrease.

The exchange is now contracting with third-party vendor GetInsured to operate its own website for the first time since its launch with then-contractor Xerox in 2013, officials said. Xerox was fired after an assortment of glitches including sign-up delays, insurance card issues and non-credited payments.

The exchange then switched to Healthcare.gov, but the federal site became too expensive, officials said.

"Healthcare.gov's rigidity was totally inflexible for the state; we couldn't see our data and had no real-time access to see who was enrolling," exchange CEO Heather Korbulic said. "The rent was also too high, so we decided to look at a fair market option."

For Nevada, the cost of using GetInsured's technology and call centers was $5 million, Korbulic said. However, that represents $4 million in savings for the first year.

The split from the federal site came during shifting enrollee numbers this year, officials said.

In 2018, Nevada Health Link hit a record-high enrollment count with 91,003 sign-ups, Korbulic said. In 2019, Nevada saw enrollment drop to 83,647.

The decline could be attributed to decreasing power of the Affordable Care Act in the last three years, she said. The Trump Administration has made moves to cut funding and support for the act, also known as Obamacare.

"They cut enrollment down from 90 days to 45 days. They cut the marketing budget by 90%. They closed the navigator grants," Korbulic said. "We wouldn't have to be on defense so much if there was more administrative support."

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com