Tom Schrette and Alan Cash

Tom Schrette and Alan Cash

Dear Tom and Alan:

Our 25-year-old-son just let us know we’re about to be grandparents! He and his girlfriend have decided to get married and start a family.

They have done a lot of research in terms of jobs and where to live. The best place for them, evidently, is outside of California…specifically, Reno, Nevada.

Our son has health insurance that we pay for, but our soon-to-be daughter-in-law does not.

Obviously, they are really going to need coverage for her and the baby. What do you know about health plans in Nevada?

Do they have anything like Covered California with subsidies for a limited income family?


Tom: The Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) is the same in every state as far as applying for coverage when we’re not in the open enrollment period beginning Nov. 1 of each year.

The key to being able to apply now is the “qualifying event.”

In this case, moving to a new state.

Subsidies are based on household income and may be available in Nevada just as they are in California.

Al: We’re not licensed to sell health insurance in Nevada, but we did get some valuable information for our reader.

A major part of the ACA was establishing health insurance marketplaces (exchanges) in each state.

Most of the states did not jump on it like California. Many just sort of told the government, “You do it.”

Nevada is one of those that uses the federal enrollment platform HealthCare.gov.

Since the devil is in the details, we’ll have to make a few assumptions regarding your future daughter-in-law.

Tom: Here goes: in order to qualify for a subsidy, she would have to earn more than $16,644 per year.

So, to be on the safe side, let’s assume she can show annual income of $19,000.

You also need to know that in order to get a subsidy, she would have to go through the exchange that’s available in Nevada.

Within the Nevada exchange, there are only two plans available, both HMOs.

One is Silver Summit and has a very “narrow” network of providers.

The other is Health Plan of Nevada, which is the one I would recommend.

Daughter-in-law age 26 in Reno for a no deductible Gold plan with a $30 copay for office visit: $464 per month total.

If she can demonstrate income of $19,000 on a recent tax return (line 37), she would receive $345 in federal monthly premium subsidy for a net premium of $119 per month.

Some of the acceptable forms to prove the new Reno address would be: a lease agreement, a utility start-up bill, new vehicle registration, or a close of escrow statement on a new home purchase.

Al: According to healthinsurance.gov, the ACA’s individual mandate is going away in 2019, but the rest of the law remains.

Nevada is planning to stop using healthcare.gov in 2020 and use only its own platform.

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Submit questions to schrette@gmail.com or alancash@gmail.com.