Carson City, NV — With Nevada’s long awaited public option moving forward and implementation getting closer, insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies in the state rolled out a faulty analysis in an effort to undermine progress towards delivering Nevadans more affordable health care through the public option.
“This analysis – which makes questionable assumptions and is based on flimsy evidence – is just an attempt to maintain the status quo, which unfortunately comes at the expense of Nevadans who want more affordable care and to see improvements to their health care system,” said United States of Care Director of Policy Solutions Liz Hagan. “The public option will address real problems Nevadans are facing, and powerful special interests using scare tactics and peddling a misleading report won’t change the fact that there is overwhelming support from Nevadans for the public option.”
Upon closer inspection, there are some questionable claims this industry-backed analysis makes:
- In direct contradiction to the actuarial analysis released by the state in 2022 which emphasized that the impact on provider revenue would be minimal, this industry-backed analysis knowingly used an incorrect inflation index that doesn’t reflect current policy to propel the erroneous claim that Nevada’s highly profitable hospitals “may end up in financial hardship.”
- In addition, the analysis fails to account for how the public option will lower costs through incentivizing patient-first care (or value-based care) arrangements between public option plans and providers, instead only focusing on assumptions about how provider reimbursement will be structured.
- This analysis ignores the state’s actuarial analysis finding that Nevadans can expect to save up to $464 million in the first five years of the program. Issuers have an incentive to continue participating in this market as the public option leverages the state’s successful Medicaid managed care program, with nearly $2 billion in managed care contracts on the line.
- While neither of these analyses take into account the new reinsurance proposal, the industry-backed analysis also does not consider new increased Medicaid rates for providers and the passage of the provider tax for hospitals – which are expected to generate $850 million to $1 billion for the state, establishing an additional funding pipeline for providers that this analysis did not taken into account.
While considering the claims of this analysis, here are a few details to remember about Nevada’s health system:
- Nevada has proven to be incredibly profitable for the state’s largest private health insurers, with the average monthly profit margin for insurers on Nevada’s individual market reaching $100 per enrollee in 2020 – almost double from 2017 – despite Nevadans paying on average $374 in premium costs each month.
- Despite the financial performance of industry stakeholders, Nevada’s health outcomes remain poor – the state ranks 51st for prevention and treatment among states and D.C., 41st for overall health system performance, and 45th for access and affordability.
- 65% of Nevada adults reported experiencing health care affordability burdens in 2022, with health care spending per capita growing 29% between 2013 and 2022.
About United States of Care
United States of Care is a nonpartisan organization committed to ensuring that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care.