Time Insurance company has applied to offer health policies in major metropolitan areas through Nevada Health Link next year.
The company already offers coverage in the state, but not to people who may be looking for subsidies through the new exchange.
Insurance Commissioner Scott Kipper says that’s the beginning of more consumer choice in the state-run marketplace.
“We’re optimistic that this is the start of something good, that we’ll get more and more carriers that want to sell on our exchange,” says Kipper.
Kipper says his office is excited to see more interest in the exchange.
“Anytime you increase the number of competitors in the pool, you’re going to have a positive effect, maybe it won’t be significant, but it will tend to drive rates down,” he says.
Commissioner Kipper says the five insurers that have applied to be in the exchange next year propose an average 5-10% premium increase, which is about the rate of medical inflation. His office will approve final rates by the end of this summer.
The five insurers applying to sell policies on the exchange next year are:
Saint Mary's Health First
Health Plan of Nevada
Time Insurance Company
Anthem HMO/ HMO Colorado
Nevada Health Co-op
The parent company of Time Insurance Company, Assurant Health, says it is planning to expand to exchange markets in a select number of states.
"We are filing to be on the Nevada exchange so Nevada consumers can consider additional choices," says Mary Hinderliter, Vice President of Communications at Assurant Health in an email.
All four of the insurers who are part of Nevada Health Link in 2014 have applied to participate in 2015.
One health insurer has decided it will not continue to sell policies through the small business exchange (SHOP) in 2015.
Both Anthem (HMO Colorado) and the Nevada Health Co-op are doing business in that market in 2014. Anthem has not applied to participate in 2015.
Nevada Health Link became a federally supported state-run exchange last May when it transferred its enrollment portal to the federal system.
Nevada residents can now look up the proposed 2015 rates for Nevada Health Link plans on the Nevada Division of Insurance's website.