Though the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act next week, Nevada’s health insurance exchange isn’t anticipating any impact on next year’s policies.
Instead, exchange officials are urging people to get enrolled during a 75-day open enrollment period that started on Sunday, cautioning against going without insurance coverage in the time of the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s open enrollment period runs through Jan. 15, with people who enroll before 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31 slated to have their coverage begin on Jan. 1, while coverage for those who enroll later will start on Feb. 1.
“All of our plans are Affordable Care Act compliant, they cover 10 essential health benefits such as mental health, pregnancy, childbirth, prescription drugs, and emergency services, including the coverage of all pre-existing conditions,” Heather Korbulic, the exchange’s executive director, said during a press conference on Monday. “And importantly, they cover a COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment. There is no need to purchase any additional plan.”
This year, Nevadans will be able to choose between 50 plans, nearly double the number of options available in past years, across five health insurance companies: Health Plan of Nevada, Silver Summit, Anthem, Friday Health Plans and Select Health. Though health plan rates have increased about 4.2 percent this year, exchange officials have noted that those who qualify for assistance in purchasing their plans will also see increases to their subsidies.
“Most of our consumers will have very minimal, if any, premium cost increases,” Korbulic said.
She added that a ruling on the latest lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act lawsuit, which has been winding its way through the federal court system since early 2018, isn’t anticipated until several months into 2021. In the lawsuit, a coalition of Republican state attorneys general have argued that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which Congress passed in 2017, rendered the ACA unconstitutional by zeroing out the ACA’s tax penalty on individuals who don’t have health insurance.
“We do not anticipate any impacts on plan year 2021,” Korbulic said.
Last year, Nevada asked to join the coalition of states defending the Affordable Care Act in the lawsuit. Attorney General Aaron Ford, on Monday, said that seniors, women and low-income individuals, among others, would be hurt if the ACA is overturned.
“We are in fact, as I've indicated, dedicated to ensuring that your health is protected,” Ford said.