Rural Nevada is nation’s third most-expensive health care market

Andres Ramirez, president of Ramirez Group, was interviewed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal about rural Nevada’s health care market. Ramirez Group is the largest navigator entity contracted by the State of Nevada to provide outreach and enrollment assistance for people buying health insurance through the Nevada Health Link. For more information on the work Ramirez Group conducts in rural Nevada, please contact our offices at 702-530-5249 or visit our Nevada Health Link page at http://ramirezgroup.com/nevada-health-link/.

Report by Jennifer Robison of the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Andres Ramirez, president of Ramirez Group, Nevada’s biggest insurance-navigator firm, agreed that higher premiums affect rural enrollment.

“If you don’t qualify for the (tax credit) and you need insurance either on or off of the exchange, it’s extremely expensive,” Ramirez said.

Lagging rural sign-ups won’t necessarily keep the state from reaching its enrollment goals because in some counties the number of uninsured people is in the single- or double-digits, Ramirez said.

“Even if the entire population in rural Nevada did not enroll, they make up less than 1 percent of the uninsured,” he said.

But that doesn’t mean high costs don’t matter. Ramirez said he’s optimistic that expenses over time will decline as telemedicine puts rural residents in touch with doctors in far-flung cities for routine care and early diagnosis. In the meantime, though, there’s little the state can do about the pain of pricey premiums in the hinterlands.

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