The Nevada Legislature Building in Carson City on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Photo: David Calvert / The Nevada Independent
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
The Nevada Senate on Tuesday approved an ambitious plan to create a “public option” health insurance program for all Nevada residents.
SB420 aims to create health insurance policies for people who are at least as good as Medicare, but who provide coverage at lower costs than Medicare.
The bill was passed in a party vote with Democrats and Republicans unanimously opposed it.
The legislation, which is now in the Assembly, directs the head of Health and Human Services, the executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange and the Insurance Commissioner to request a resignation from the US Secretary of Health and Human Services to obtain additional federal funding to pay for the program, as well as other exemptions to obtain funding to support the plan, including the Social Security Act.
It authorizes these officials to seek any other federal funding to pay for the plan.
The money received would be deposited in a trust fund created by SB420.
The plan would be available to all Nevadans and small business owners who could come together to help provide coverage to their workers.
Insurance policies would be purchased through the health insurance exchange and should provide at least the levels of coverage required by the Affordable Care Act, but cost at least 5% less than the “reference premium”. for any given zip code. Price increases would be limited to this year’s increase in the Medicare economic index.
The public options program will not be published until 2025.