Silver State board members scramble to find replacement for Anthem Insurance

LAS VEGAS - Anthem Insurance's decision to pull out of the Nevada health insurance exchange still has state insurance officials looking for the company's replacement.

Eighty-eight thousand Nevadans have insurance through the exchange and a quarter of them have Anthem, so the state is working hard to make sure the 20,000 people who are going to lose their health insurance are covered.

"I have been worried about what's going to happen to my insurance for months now," said Laura Packard, who has Anthem Insurance.  "Now I know that my insurer is pulling out, I'm not sure what I'm going to do next year.  Hopefully, there are options."

Packard gets her insurance through the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.  Its board met Thursday to air its concerns over Anthem's exit, which will leave 14 rural counties entirely without an option on the exchange.

"A very great concern to me is the fact that we will not be able to offer coverage to people who live in those counties," said Lavonne Lewis, a board member of the Silver State Insurance Exchange.

"We have had a pretty good ride so far until Aetna and Anthem pulled out not so long ago," said Dr. Florence Jameson, chairwoman, a board member of the Silver State Exchange.

About 90,000 people rely on the exchange to get health insurance coverage.

"The withdrawal by Anthem, is really what we're addressing is just in the exchange, for the southern state, we still have two carriers on the exchange," said David Cassetty, Dep. Commissioner, NV Dept. of Insurance.
   
Cassetty says they are close to securing another insurer, "so that we can get statewide coverage in the exchange, so that the people who are are there won't be impacted by it," Cassetty said. "We're confident that we'll have that addressed shortly."

For Packard, that time can't come soon enough.

"My insurance is what's keeping me alive," Packard said.
 


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