NEVADA: Governor Moves Ahead On Health Insurance Reform
Nevada's "problem-plagued" health insurance system could see changes under a draft bill submitted to the state Legislature Friday by Gov. Bob Miller (D) and Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa (R), the AP/Las Vegas Sun reports. The legislation would restructure the state Committee on Benefits -- the panel that oversees the state's system -- by increasing the number of members and "upgrad[ing] qualifications and education of panel members." The bill also would put a management team that currently operates under the state's Risk Management Division under the Committee on Benefits' oversight. The proposed changes were prompted in part by "the claims-processing turmoil" Nevada faced last fall. L&H Associates, the state's claims contractor, fell behind in its claims processing and was fired by the state, "leaving more than 85,000 unpaid claims," the AP/Sun reports. A Texas company was hired to finish the job, but some medical providers were not paid for up to a year. The State of Nevada Employee Association is also pushing for changes to the insurance system, and proposed that the Legislature "give the state power to pay its own medical claims rather than let an outside contractor handle the job." SNEA also proposed that the Committee on Benefits have a separate staff to manage the health insurance program. The state has seen a 12.5% increase in claims in the past year, but "the system was budgeted only for a 7% increase in fiscal 1997" (Riley, 5/22)This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.