Nevadans get a first look at healthcare exchange rates
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Nevadans are getting their first glimpse at the rates on the state's new healthcare exchange.
The Division of Insurance has just approved the policies that will be available for enrollment October 1st. When that happens, you can go online and comparison shop as you would for an airplane ticket.
There are four carriers offerings plans for individuals on the exchange in 2014. Only two carriers, Nevada Health Co-op and Anthem, are offering them statewide. Many national carriers like Aetna have not yet joined, and only offer plans off the exchange. Unless you shop through the exchange, federal tax credits that cut down the cost significantly would not be available.
Scott Kipper, who's the Commissioner of the Division of Insurance, says they hope to see more carriers join the exchange in the coming years.
"It's in, I think, everyone's best interest to have as many carriers available as possible. Competition does have a significant impact on rates, so we would certainly encourage and enjoy it if other carriers considered putting products on the exchange."
The cost of a given plan depends on age, location and annual income. For example, a 30-year-old in Washoe County can choose from more than 40 plans, which cost anywhere from 244 to 430 dollars per month. There are fewer choices in more rural areas. The same 30-year-old in Elk would only have 16 options, and the lowest rate is 348 dollars per month.
Commissioner Kipper says customers won't be liable for as much of the cost if they live in a rural area.
"We don't have the ability or the authority to force providers to participate in a network, but what we can do is make sure that consumers are not behind the eight ball because they live in Jarbidge or Fort McDowell."
Once the website is up and running October 1st, consumers will be able to search for doctors on the exchange to see if they participate in a particular plan. Kipper says if you don't qualify for a tax credit, which is based on income and family size, then you should search for plans both on and off the exchange.
Go here to check out the approved rates.