Renowned for gambling and entertainment, the state of Nevada is an amazing place, and it is home to the buzzing and eccentric city, Las Vegas. Although the cost of living in Nevada is high, the average cost of health is slightly lower than the national average.
Health insurance has many benefits; it protects you and your family from the unexpected and also protects your savings. Purchasing health insurance in Nevada that would suit your needs and preferences at very affordable prices is awesome but the process may be a little daunting.
And that is why we are here, providing steps that would lead you efficiently through the process.
In Nevada, there are a number of ways to get or obtain health insurance. You can get coverage from your employer. Many employers in Nevada offer health insurance to their workers as part of their benefits.
Another way to get health insurance is to buy from Nevada Health Insurance Exchange. You can purchase your health insurance directly from private health insurance companies or through a broker or an agent. We will look more into this later.
Health insurance providers usually refer customers to buy from agents. These agents take care of the customer’s enrollment and premiums.
The cheapest health insurance in Nevada is the government-provided healthcare program. However, these plans are not available to everyone, only those who are eligible qualify. Let’s take a look at them:
Medicaid is a free government-provided health insurance program. Residents in Nevada who eligible are individuals with income 138% below the federal poverty level. This plan covers doctors’ services, inpatient and outpatient hospital services, X-ray and laboratory services, and home health services.
Other optional benefits include prescription drugs, physical therapy, and case management. It’s the best plan for those who are eligible.
Also provided by the government, the medicare program is only accessible to the elderly (65 years and above) and individuals with certain disabilities.
Unlike Medicaid, Medicare is not entirely free in Nevada. You are required to pay some amount for coverage. In any case, Medicare programs are more affordable than private health insurance.
Medicare is comprised of three parts, each providing coverage for specific health services:
Part A is known as Hospital insurance. This part covers hospital stays, hospice care, skilled nursing facility care, and certain home-based health care services.
This part is called medical insurance. It offers coverage for outpatient treatments, some doctors’ services, medical supplies, preventive care, and vaccines. Premium costs in this part are based on your income.
This is your prescription drug coverage or insurance. It covers prescription medications and immunizations. Premiums in this part depend on the plan you choose.
Factors That Affect Health Insurance Premiums In Nevada
While you search for affordable health insurance rates, it is important to know that there are some factors that can impact your rates. These factors are used by private health insurance providers in Nevada when estimating the amount you pay on premiums. Some of these factors include:
Age is a key factor that determines how much your premium costs. Your age is directly proportional to your premium cost in Nevada. Older people pay more for health insurance.
The reason is that they are at a greater chance of needing medical care compared to young individuals. As you age, you pay more for health insurance.
Body Mass Index
The body mass index, BMI, is the measure of an individual’s weight with respect to height. In many cases, it is used in estimating body fat and in determining whether an individual is of a healthy weight. Residents in Nevada with a high body mass index are likely to pay more on health insurance.
They are charged more because they stand at greater risk of contracting diseases like osteoarthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, breast cancer, and many other kinds of diseases.
Individuals with a healthy body mass index pay less. Being able to maintain a healthy BMI is beneficial as it saves you money and improves your health.
Nevada has an average of 22.9% smokers. Typically, smokers pay more for health insurance than nonsmokers. Smoking is detrimental and damaging to health. It exposes an individual to the risks like lung cancer, type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD), and even tuberculosis.
As a smoker in Nevada looking for ways to save on premiums, you may want to consider quitting the habit. This decision would be consequential in two ways; you would be able to cut costs on premiums and most importantly, you’d be making your health better.
This also affects rates. Different occupations come with their individual hazards. But these hazards vary in type and level. Residents who are exposed to more dangers from their occupation pay more for coverage on health insurance in Nevada.
Type Of Plan You Choose
Plan types offer different coverage and along with it, have varying premium costs and out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles. Your plan type determines how much you pay for health insurance.
Location is another key factor. Nevada, like other states, has rating areas. Health insurance companies divide counties into these rating areas. So your premium cost would also depend on the rating area you fall under.
Some other factors include policy duration and co-insurance features.
Private Health Insurance On The Nevada Insurance Exchange
Nevada insurance exchange categorizes health insurance plans into metal tiers. The tiers include bronze, silver, and gold. Premiums, out-of-pocket maximums, deductibles, and coinsurance features differ among these tiers.
While some have low premiums they also have limited coverage and those with higher premiums have wider coverage. However, these plans do not affect the quality of healthcare services you receive.
This tier/plan is the lowest plan available on the Nevada insurance exchange. Bronze plans are the cheapest plans as they have the lowest monthly premiums.
It is also good to know that although bronze plans have the lowest premiums they also have the highest out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles.
These plans provide coverage for up to 60 % of medical costs and expenses. It’s a good option for young and healthy individuals who rarely visit the doctor and seldomly need medical care.
The silver plans are best for individuals with moderate income and who need moderate medical care. They are a perfect balance between the high monthly premiums of the gold plans and the high deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums of the bronze plans.
Silver plans cover up to 70% of your medical expenses and it also qualifies for cost-sharing reductions and premium tax credits that further lower your premiums. We recommend that you begin your search for health insurance in Nevada from this tier.
Gold plans are the most expensive plans. They have the highest monthly premiums and the lowest out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles.
These offer coverage of up to 90% of your medical expenses. They are an ideal option for residents in Nevada who need frequent medical care, have costly prescriptions and so expect high medical costs.
Your recurring visits to the doctor and prescriptions would make you hit your maximum out-of-pocket limit faster than letting your insurance carrier step in and begin covering your medical expenses.
Below are the average monthly health insurance rates in Nevada for the three tiers or plans:
- Bronze: $410 per month
- Silver: $531 per month
- Gold: $630 per month
Most Affordable Health Insurance In Nevada By County
Your location in Nevada affects the cost of your health insurance. There are 17 counties in Nevada and these counties are grouped into 4 rating areas. Health insurance providers use these rating areas to allocate prices. Your monthly premiums depend on the rating area you fall under.
In Clark County, Nevada’s most populous county, Friday Silver from Friday Health Plans of Nevada, Inc. is the most affordable Silver health insurance plan. It costs $352 per month on average.
Most Affordable Health Insurance In Nevada With High Out-of-Pocket Maxes
Young residents in Nevada may opt for plans with low premiums and high out-of-pocket maxes. This way you are able to save on premium. but, it is good to bear in mind that in cases of emergency, you’ll be required to pay more out of pocket.
In Nevada, the most affordable plan with the highest out-of-pocket cost is SelectHealth Value Expanded Bronze 8550 – no deductible for office visits from SelectHealth, Inc. A 26-year-old pays an average of $254 per month.
Most Affordable Health Insurance In Nevada With Low Out-of-Pocket Maximums
For residents who expect high medical expenses because of their need for medical care, plans with high monthly premiums and low out-of-pocket maximums may be the best option for you.
These plans cover most of your expenses and with time as you continue to access medical care, you reach your out-of-pocket limit sooner and your insurer starts to take care of your medical costs.
The most affordable plan with a low out-of-pocket maximum in Nevada is Ambetter Balanced Care 25 HSA (2021) from Ambetter from SilverSummit. This plan costs about $550 monthly on average for a 40-year-old individual.
Most Affordable HMO/EPO Health Insurance Plan in Nevada
In order to get the best health insurance plan, you must consider your needs and preferences. In Nevada, there are two types of plans available; Health Maintenance Organisation, HMO, and Exclusive Provider Organisation, EPO plans.
HMO plans are the most common plan type and they are the cheapest. These plans require members to stay within their provider network except in the event of emergencies. It also requires a referral from your primary care physician to see a specialist.
EMO plans are similar to the HMO plans.the major difference is that with EMO you do not need a referral to see a specialist.
Below are the most affordable health insurance plans in Nevada, for each available plan type:
- Cheapest HMO Silver Plan: SelectHealth Value Silver 6500 – no deductible for office visits provided by SelectHealth, Inc. It costs an average of $374 per month for a 40-year-old individual
- Cheapest EPO Silver Plan: Friday Silver is offered by Friday Health Plans of Nevada, Inc. This policy costs about $512 per month for an average 40-year-old individual