Nevada lawmakers this week passed a public option bill, which experts say is the most ambitious and aggressive in a wave of similar policies that have been seriously discussed in recent years. Payers and providers alike objected to the bill, which will go into effect in 2026 and Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday promised to sign.
Nevada’s public option bill will require any carrier that participates in the state’s Medicaid managed care program or individual exchange to provide a silver- or gold-level public option plan. Premiums for those plans will be set 5% lower than the benchmark silver plan sold on the state Affordable Care Act exchange, and both individuals and small group purchasers will be able to buy into the plan.
Any provider that has a network agreement with the state employee health plan or a Medicaid plan will be required to join the public option plan’s network. The bill also extends Medicaid eligibility to pregnant women who have an income of up to 200% of the federal poverty line and expands the program’s maternity benefits.The bill is part of a growing movement by Democrats at the state level to pass public options.