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Study: NV Health Insurance Premiums to Soar in 2019

Health advocates worry that GOP policies will reverse progress made in getting more Nevadans insured.(Goir/iStockphoto)
Health advocates worry that GOP policies will reverse progress made in getting more Nevadans insured.(Goir/iStockphoto)
March 1, 2018

CARSON CITY, Nev. – Health insurance premiums are going to go up an average of 15.2 percent in Nevada in 2019 – that's the prediction from a report released this week by the Urban Institute.

The report says the increase is tied to several Trump administration initiatives to drop the individual mandate, stop making cost-share reduction payments to insurers, and allow the sale of cheaper plans that have fewer benefits. Maria-Teresa Liebermann, deputy director with Battle Born Progress, says people should keep this in mind when they go to the polls in the mid-term elections this November.

"These are all things that we have been warning our elected leaders like Senator Dean Heller and Congressman Mark Amodei, who have supported all of these policies that are going to lead us down this dangerous path," she says.

The report says Trump's attacks on the Affordable Care Act will destabilize the insurance market by encouraging healthy people to enroll in so-called "skinny" plans or drop coverage altogether – driving up prices in the larger market, which will then be burdened with more high-cost patients.

Trump has argued that the requirement to buy health insurance infringed on people's freedom and blames unnecessary regulations for driving up premiums.

In recent years, Nevada has made great strides in reducing the number of uninsured – but Liebermann fears that trend may now be reversed.

"After we have been making progress in trying to fix it, stabilize the insurance market. But now, with the sabotage that we've seen with the GOP and Trump, now we're back to square one."

The report also predicts that by next year an additional 57,000 Nevadans will lose coverage or be enrolled in cheaper plans, many of which feature high deductibles, don't cover mental health care or inpatient hospital stays, and exclude those with pre-existing conditions.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV