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September 2, 2014

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Nevada board delays vote on health insurance enrollment

Members of the governing board of the trouble-plagued state health insurance system want to see more people signed up but they are asking for more details before extending the enrollment period.

The board of directors of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange today delayed until next Thursday a final decision on setting up a special enrollment period of up to 60 days for those who tried and failed to get into the system because of computer problems or not getting answers on the telephone.

The board discussed who should be eligible under an extended sign-up period. And they asked state Insurance Commissioner Scott Kipper to give them options.

One option is to permit enrollment for the estimated 100,000 who were determined to be eligible for the coverage but never completed the application process. Or another alternative is to allow the estimated 30,000 who selected an insurance plan but didn't receive final clearance.

So far an estimated 21,000 have been enrolled and paid their premiums to the insurance companies. The deadline for applying is March 31.

The original goal was 118,000 enrollees, but that was revised downward to 50,000.

Xerox, who has the $75 million contract to design and run the system, believes it will have all the problems solved by March 31. Xerox executive Greg Vitiello said it would set up a special team to handle those who sign up in a special enrollment period.

There was concern by some board members whether Xerox, based on its past performance, could handle a potential influx of consumers who want health insurance coverage.

Xerox has been roundly criticized for failures in the system that started Oct. 1 for signups.

The next regular enrollment period will be in November.

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