Healthcare.gov clients in Elko and Winnemucca Nevada are going to experience some major changes this coming November. As of today, (Aug, 2017) we have 2 insurance companies participating in Healthcare.gov and only one company in Elko and Winnemucca for 2018.
Centene Healthcare recently announced they will be offering plans in all counties of Nevada. This comes immediately following the news last week that Anthem and Prominence Health Plans will no longer be offering individual medical insurance plans anywhere in Nevada. The vacuum created by Anthem and Prominence left individuals in Elko and Winnemucca Nevada with no subsidized options through Healthcare.gov. With Centene filling the spot, these individuals in the rural counties now have an option. For 2018 they will be automatically renewed on to a Centene plan. They can change their plan choice from November 1st through December 15th, 2017.
Tax credits or “subsidies” are only available to those who purchase plans through Healthcare.gov. Without an option available through Healthcare.gov individuals in Elko and Winnemucca Nevada would be left with either purchasing a private individual plan or group health insurance, if either are available. The individual health insurance plans available off-exchange (not through Healthcare.gov) are only available in the Carson City area, Reno and Las Vegas. Group health insurance plans are only available if it’s offered through an employer.
Due to the limited availability of individual plans many companies have started offering group health insurance plans in Elko and Winnemucca Nevada. They are available from Aetna, Anthem, United, Prominence, Humana and Hometown Health. These options end up being more affordable for two reasons. 1. The wide selection of insurance companies makes more competition. More competition means lower prices. and 2. Group health insurance plans are paid company to company. No Medicare, Social Security or personal income taxes are taken out. This ends up being the single largest tax deduction employees can take.
Additionally they’re also the most reliable since these same insurance companies have been offering plans year after year in Nevada. These companies aren’t here one year and gone the next.
The tax credits available through Healthcare.gov have also been increasingly unpredictable. Many people become ineligible for the tax credit mid year due to a raise or change of employment. Unfortunately the tax credit amount does not automatically update due to changes in income. As a result, on April 15th many people are surprised and devastated to find out they owe back thousands of dollars in advanced subsidies “tax credits”.
For questions regarding any health insurance plans please contact our office.