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In Nevada, you have several options when it comes to affordable health insurance. If your employer offers health insurance, you can get it through your work, or you can buy it through the Nevada insurance exchange, from individual insurers, or obtain Medicaid.
This guide describes your Nevada cheap health insurance options in detail.
If you don’t use the HealthCare.gov website but register on the Nevada Health Link website, you will be redirected to Nevada Health Link.
When shopping for insurance on the Nevada exchange, your first step is to find out how much insurance will cost by clicking on the “I’m ready to get started” link. Next, you need to supply basic information such as:
Nevada Health Link determines whether you qualify for health insurance, advanced tax credits, or Medicaid. If you are eligible for Medicaid, you should contact the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. If you qualify for health insurance and/or advanced tax credit, you’ll be asked further questions regarding doctor’s visits and prescriptions. Once this step is complete, you will be able to view and compare different health plans available to you. Once you’ve selected a plan, you can create an account and apply for the plan you’ve selected.
The health plan enrollment process is the same whether you’re applying for individual or family insurance. If you’re shopping for a family, evaluate the pros and cons of individual versus family health plans. These include factors such as:
There are several different types of health insurance plans in Nevada.
Family health insurance requirements are more complex than individual insurance requirements. Family health insurance plans in Nevada should accommodate the different medical needs of each family member. Balance anticipated out-of-pocket costs against higher premiums for health plans that offer adequate coverage for all family members.
If family members need regular medication and treatment for chronic conditions, it may be best to choose a plan with good coverage, low deductibles, but higher premiums. If all family members are in good health, a low-cost plan with high deductibles may be adequate. Other factors include the ages of those insured because premiums increase with age.
Another factor is the type of plan. Although HMO plans are often cheaper, if you need extended coverage for family members studying, living, or working elsewhere, it may be better to go with a PPO plan that allows the use of out-of-network providers.
Nevada health plans fall under four metal tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. All tiers provide the same set of essential benefits, but the value of the cover supplied depends on the tier. Tiers reflect the amount you pay for medical services (coinsurance), monthly premiums, and annual deductibles. Choose a plan based on your total coverage cost rather than a plan with the lowest monthly premium.
|Average premium in Nevada||2020||2021||2022||2023|
|Most affordable Bronze plan||$380||$358||$343||$295|
|Most affordable Silver plan||$506||$470||$445||$385|
|Most affordable Gold plan||$510||$464||$435||$464|
Nevada operates two forms of low-income health coverage, Medicaid and Nevada Check Up. Medicaid is a joint program funded by the Federal Government and Nevada providing basic health coverage for qualifying low-income individuals. Nevada Check Up is the state’s version of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) providing health insurance for qualifying children up to and including the age of 18.
Medicaid provides health insurance for certain categories of low-income people. To qualify for Nevada Medicaid, your household income must be less than 138% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and you must meet one of the following criteria:
To apply for Nevada Medicaid, contact your local Division of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS) office. Once accepted, you won’t need to pay a premium for Nevada Medicaid. Benefits include doctor and emergency room visits, hospital care, dental care, birth control, eyeglasses, immunizations, and prescription medication. You must use registered Nevada Medicaid providers, and some procedures, examinations, and medicines require prior authorization.
Nevada Check Up provides low-cost, comprehensive health care for children up to age 19. To qualify for Nevada Check Up, your child can’t be eligible for Medicaid or have individual insurance. For eligibility, complete a qualification assessment on Access Nevada, open an account, and make a formal application.
Nevada Check Up targets those who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but less than Nevada’s state income limits for the program. Nevada Check Up benefits are similar to those for Medicaid. The program has a quarterly premium of between $25 and $80 depending upon gross income. The premium is charged per family, not per child, and nonpayment or late payment may result in loss of coverage.
Nevada Medicare provides health insurance for adults aged 65 and over and includes certain disabled people and those suffering from certain diseases.
There are two options: Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
You’re eligible for Medicare if you are aged 65 or over and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You are entitled to Medicare if you have a qualifying disability and have been receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for two years. You can also qualify if you’re in need of a kidney transplant, have end-stage renal failure, or Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Part A is free if you’ve paid Medicare taxes for 10 years. Part B premiums depend on your income.
If you start receiving your Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits at least four months before you turn 65, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare. Otherwise, you must fill out an application online or contact your local Social Security office. You can enroll in Medicare during the following periods:
If you need help or advice regarding Medicare eligibility, benefits, and enrollment, contact your local Nevada SCHIP counselor. You can also find help at the Nevada Division of Insurance.
Short-term health insurance plans provide emergency health cover for short periods when you don’t have an ACA-approved insurance plan. Short-term health policies don’t meet the minimum standards required by the Affordable Care Act. In most instances, short-term health insurance won’t cover pre-existing conditions. Should you get sick, the insurer may investigate whether the illness is linked to a pre-existing condition and may deny claims.
No. Coverage is mandated in the Affordable Care Act, but there is currently no federal tax penalty for not having ACA-compliant health insurance coverage.
No, you can purchase ACA-compliant health insurance from several individual insurers approved to sell policies in Nevada. If you want to take advantage of the Advanced Premium Tax Credit or Cost Sharing Reduction, you must buy your health plan on Nevada Health Link.
The most popular form of cost-sharing plans are faith-based plans. In a faith-based plan, members share health care costs with other members. You don’t need to be a member of a particular denomination (or even religious), to participate in a plan. While these plans can be relatively low-cost, most faith-based plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions, mental health care, or pregnancy. Since the federal government and Nevada don’t consider them health care plans, these plans are unregulated. If you would like to join a faith-based plan, make sure you ask lots of questions before enrolling.
The purpose of HSA and FSA accounts is to save pre-tax money to provide for health plan deductibles. These accounts are not a substitute for health insurance.
Health insurance covers medical expenses arising from a disability but does not provide disability coverage. Nevada workers’ compensation laws require employers to offer no-fault disability insurance for workplace accidents. These and individual short-term disability policies provide coverage for day-to-day expenses should you be temporarily disabled.
No, but health insurance only pays medical expenses. It won’t replace income lost because of long-term disability. For example, long-term disability coverage in Nevada usually pays out 60% of pre-disability income.
Nevada Check Up is the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), providing health care coverage for children in low-income uninsured households up to the age of 19. All approved medical costs are covered and no copays are required. However, there is a small quarterly premium.