Las Vegas Sun

March 2, 2015

Currently: 61° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

State approves $6 million contract to publicize health insurance exchange

A state board approved a $6 million marketing and branding contract for the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange today, in an effort to generate public awareness of the state-based program to help individuals buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

The marketing contract will be paid for through a federal grant.

Enrollment in the exchange begins in October.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, who sits on the state Board of Examiners that approved the marketing contract, emphasized that the state’s health insurance exchange would not use state general tax dollars, used to pay for things like education and health services for the poor, once federal grants run out.

“It has to stand on its own two feet,” Sandoval said after the meeting.

Sandoval opposed the federal health care legislation, known by critics as Obamacare, arguing that the mandate was unconstitutional. But he signed legislation in 2011 creating Nevada's insurance exchange. He said the state should have control over the program instead of ceding that power to the federal government.

Sandoval also announced last month that the state would expand Medicaid to cover more poor people.

Both setting up the state’s health insurance exchange and expanding Medicaid have been opposed by other Republican governors.

In August, the Board of Examiners approved a separate $72 million contract to set up the Internet-based exchange, for which the federal government also will pick up the tab.

The marketing contract with Reno-based KPS 3 Inc., runs through March 2014.

In the first year, the state expects about 118,000 people to use the exchange to purchase health insurance, a mandate for most people under the federal Affordable Care Act, according to Jon Hager, executive director of the exchange.

The first task under the contract will be to brand the exchange, and to come up with a name for it, Hager said.

Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Secretary of State Ross Miller, who also sit on the Board of Examiners, joined Sandoval in approving the contract without any discussion.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

No trusted comments have been posted.