Class action lawsuit targets Silver State Exchange

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Updated: 4/03/2014 5:42 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- A late push of public outreach events helped escalate signups on Nevada's health exchange, but final tallies still fell short of enrollment goals.

Officials say nearly 42,000 people selected qualified health plans through the state's online web portal, and of those, about 26,000 have actually paid for coverage. The deadline to enroll was midnight on Monday.

Exchange officials initially set a goal of 118,000. But in February, they tamed expectations to 50,000, because of ongoing flaws in the system built by Xerox that left many people frustrated and unable to enroll.

The troubles are far from over for the exchange or Xerox. On Wednesday, the first class action lawsuit was filed. It was done on behalf of residents, who say they signed up, paid up, but never received coverage.

The lawyer behind the class action lawsuit said insurance brokers brought this to his attention. News 4 contacted two brokers on Thursday, to try and understand more about what the lawsuit alleges.

"As an agent, if we would have taken money and went ahead and done this, we'd go to jail," said Hawley MacLean.

MacLean has been in the insurance industry for decades. His company, The MacLean Financial Group was involved with Nevada's Health Exchange from the very beginning. He said there have been problems with getting people into the system from the get go.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said MacLean. "There are quite a few people through our office who come through. They've entered them into the system and it just shows pending."

Neither MacLean, nor his colleague Steve Dalinis are involved with the class action lawsuit, but they are not surprised. Dalinis said now that the deadline for enrollment has passed, the challenges continue.

"We're getting calls from insured that have applied to the exchange direct, or through a broker, and wondering if they can access care or not," Dalinis said. "They haven't gotten their cards in the mail. They're not quite sure on the network the doctors."

He also said getting questions answered or issues resolved is not easy. "It's very difficult to get a straight answer from the exchange on a policy that's issued or pending. Even now with another extension the individual, the exchange, the portal isn't up and running yet to see whether or not they've initiated to try and get coverage, if they haven't and how long they have to apply for coverage."

The exchange is working to correct the issues. Deloitte Consulting was awarded a $1.5 million contract to fix the problems. We will know much more when that audit comes out in the weeks ahead.
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