Maintaining momentum on medical health insurance access – The Nevada Independent

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For the primary time in 40 years, inflation is dominating headlines across the country. Whole generations of Nevadans have never seen such skyrocketing prices on the food market, the gas station and of their monthly bills. The truth is that many families are having to make difficult selections with their family budgets. 

Without urgent congressional motion, hundreds of Nevadans will get hit with one other significant price hike, this time to their medical health insurance bill. The expanded financial subsidies for families and individuals who receive their insurance through the state’s medical health insurance marketplace, referred to as Nevada Health Link, are set to run out at the tip of the 12 months. This increase in financial assistance was passed through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which helped drive record-high enrollment last 12 months. In the course of the most up-to-date Open Enrollment Period, greater than 101,000 Nevadans got insured through Nevada Health Link, nearly a 24 percent increase in enrollments compared with the prior 12 months. 

Allowing these subsidies to run out would have a devastating effect on Nevadans and can lead many to significantly consider dropping their medical health insurance altogether as they cut costs. 

This will not be a risk we are able to take. 

Being covered by quality medical health insurance is the gateway to overall health and well-being. Studies show that having medical health insurance is related to improved access to health services and higher health monitoring, while uninsured adults are less prone to receive preventive services for chronic conditions comparable to diabetes, cancer and heart problems. Being insured adds that extra layer of protection to individuals and families in case of a medical emergency and might prevent bankruptcy. 

For the reason that passage of the Inexpensive Care Act (ACA) in 2010, Nevada has made tremendous progress in expanding access to reasonably priced medical health insurance. Pre-ACA, Nevada had a 22 percent uninsured rate, nearly 7 percent higher than the national average; whereas, in 2021, Nevada’suninsured rate was 11.4 percent. (Source: American Health Rankings). 

We should always be incredibly happy with the progress we’ve made on this regard; now could be the time to hold on this momentum, not go backward. There are still too many uninsured Nevadans across the Silver State. Specifically, marginalized groups in Nevada usually tend to be uninsured. As we proceed to construct health equity throughout the state, we must help Hispanic, Latino, African-American, Asian American and Pacific Islander and LGBTQ+ Nevadans access and afford quality insurance that meets their needs. 

I’m heartened that elected leaders recognize the necessity to extend the ARPA subsidies and construct on the progress in insuring more Nevadans. Recently, Gov. Steve Sisolak and 13 other governors called on Congress in a letter to request the extension of the ARPA advantages . Nevada’s Exchange also signed onto a letter with 18 other state-based exchanges to induce Congress to increase these critical advantages. Just weeks later, Sen. Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced recent laws called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, that might extend the tax credits for ACA plans made available through ARPA through 2025. 

This is able to mean more Nevada families would find a way to afford to maintain their medical health insurance. And when more Nevada families are insured, we’ve a healthier, more prosperous Nevada. 

Extending the ARPA advantages will make a big impact on health look after hundreds of Nevadans — and tens of millions of Americans. 

I’m cautiously optimistic about the probabilities this laws has to develop into law. I hope Congress acts swiftly to increase these subsidies, allowing Nevadans to proceed to make the most of enhanced lower monthly premiums and protect themselves and their families with reasonably priced medical health insurance.

Ryan High is the Executive Director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange. He oversees the operations of the net marketplace NevadaHealthLink.com, which connects Nevadans with quality and reasonably priced medical health insurance. He’s obsessed with health care policy and dealing towards a totally insured population in Nevada.

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