Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 | 6:40 p.m.
CARSON CITY – A financial executive has been named director of the newly-created program to help individuals and small employers in the future find health insurance under President Obama’s plan.
Jon Hager, chief financial officer for the state Public Employees Benefit Program, has been selected to be executive director of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, which was created by the 2011 Legislature.
Hager will be responsible for starting a program to help individuals and small employers get their workers enrolled in qualified health plans starting in 2014.
The aim is to reduce the number of uninsured people in Nevada, which is reported to be one of the highest uninsured states in the nation.
President Obama’s plan is now before the U.S Supreme Court to test its validity.
The state has already received a $1 million grant from the federal government, which has pledged to fund all expenses through 2014. In 2005, the program must be self supporting.
A decision has not been made how the exchange will pay its own way. But a fee may be tacked on the premium of health insurance purchased through the exchange.
If the program is declared unconstitutional, the state says it will re-evaluate what steps to take.
The appointment of Hager was announced by Barbara Smith Campbell, chairwoman of the seven-member board of directors of the health exchange. She said he was chosen over two other applicants.