Silver State Healthcare Exchange goes live

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Silver State Healthcare Exchange goes live

Exchange

Nevada's health insurance exchange went live Tuesday morning.

Nevada's health insurance exchange went live Tuesday morning, although the online portal was about 20 minutes late. Within the first hour, about 300 visitors were already on the site.

John Hager, who is executive director of Silver State Health Insurance, says consumers can now go online to review the policies offered by four companies.

He says the website, NevadaHealth Link.com, is by no means perfect and those shopping for plans should expect some hiccups in the coming weeks.

"There's still a long way to go. Consumers who use the web portal today will have a much different experience than those who use it in a few months or two. There will be hiccups, errors and other bugs that will occur. After all, there are gremlins in any major system implementation, and this project is about as big as it gets."

Hager says the rates in the system are accurate and benefits are mostly correct. Insurance carriers will continue to review plans and he expects much of it to be finalized by the end of the week.

Additionally, an online calculator to determine out-of-pocket costs is not yet functioning and a Spanish language portal won't be ready until November.

Four companies are offering policies on the exchange for 2014. Coverage areas are broken into four regions -- Clark and Nye counties; Washoe County; Carson City, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties; and the rural areas encompassing Nevada's 10 remaining counties.

Only two carriers, Nevada Health Co-op and Anthem, are offering plans through the exchange in all four regions. The other carries, Saint Mary's and Health Plan of Nevada, exclude rural coverage.

Determining how much coverage will cost depends on where you live, how old you are and annual income.

For those who would like coverage to begin on January 1st, the deadline to enroll is December 15th.