HHS data shows that enrollment in insurance exchange is sluggish this year
Those living in Nevada have been slow to sign up for coverage through the state’s health insurance exchange. A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services has found that relatively few people have purchased coverage through the state’s exchange, called Nevada Health Link. Enrollment numbers were quite low during the first month of the open enrollment period, which began on November 1. Overall, enrollment throughout the country has been sluggish.
Approximately 23,000 consumers have enrolled in Nevada Health Link
During the first month of the 2014 open enrollment period, some 40,285 people enrolled in Nevada Health Link. This year, however, only 23,248 people enrolled in the health insurance exchange. Nationally, 2 million consumers had enrolled in exchanges during the enrollment period’s first month. In 2014, some 4 million people had enrolled in exchanges during November, when the last open enrollment period began. In order to ensure that consumers had access to the insurance coverage they needed, many states had a special enrollment period earlier this year. Nevada was one of these states.
Special enrollment period draws 72,000 enrollees earlier this year
A special enrollment session was held on February 15 in Nevada, during which time some 72,127 consumers signed up for health insurance coverage. Those that do not have insurance coverage are likely to face tax penalties from the federal government. These penalties are became more expensive this year as an incentive to encourage the uninsured to acquire coverage, but the threat of tax penalties is being offset by the rapidly growing cost of health insurance coverage as a whole.
Health insurance premiums are on the rise
The high cost of health insurance has caused concern among consumers. Many note that they cannot afford the premiums that they face, an issue that is leading some consumers to forgo insurance coverage entirely. Consumers may be eligible for subsidies from the federal government that offset the cost of their insurance policies, and the Department of Health and Human Services notes that the majority of consumers receiving coverage through exchanges also receive subsidies.