By taking the process in-house, the Nevada exchange hopes to cut technology operating costs by half to around $6 million annually and avoid an expected increase in fees for using Healthcare.gov.

Nevada’s health exchange wants to take its e-commerce platform in-house.

In time for the 2019 fall benefits enrollment season, which begins next November, Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, operator of the health insurance marketplace known as Nevada Health Link, plans to take the technology for signing up state residents for coverage in-house

Today, Silver State, which enrolled or re-enrolled 90,962 residents for health insurance during the 2018 open-enrollment season, uses Healthcare.gov to run its benefits enrollment platform.

This request for proposal is one of the agency's initial steps toward an intended transition away from Healthcare.gov.

For the service, Nevada pays Healthcare.gov, the national health insurance exchange run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an annual fee of about $12 million.

By taking the process in-house, the Nevada exchange hopes to cut technology operating costs by half to around $6 million annually and avoid an expected increase in fees for using Healthcare.gov for the next upcoming benefits enrollment season.

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Today, the Nevada exchange pays the federal government about 2% of all premiums sold on the exchange to pay Healthcare.gov. to operate its e-commerce platform. But those costs could rise to 3.5% of all premiums, according to a potential rate increase proposed by the Trump Administration.

Last week the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange put out a request for proposal for operating the exchange fully in-house with a plan to have a benefits enrollment platform in place by Nov. 1, says network executive director Heather Korbulic. “The exchange is exploring a full state-based marketplace operation as an opportunity to not only find cost-savings, but to also allow for a better user experience for consumers, carriers and licensed enrollment professionals.”

It’s unclear how many technology companies have responded to the newly issued request for proposal, but the state has aggressive deadlines for making a final vendor selection by May 25 and have a new contract go into effect on Aug. 15.

“This request for proposal is one of the agency’s initial steps toward an intended transition away from Healthcare.gov to pursue an already proven technology platform and associated consumer assistance center,” the exchange says.

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