Nevada Medicaid enrollment spikes amid pandemic, high unemployment


Mon, Feb 22, 2021 (11:53 a.m.)

With the pandemic bringing historic jobless rates across Nevada, the state’s Medicaid insurance program has seen a spike in enrollment.

One out of every four Nevadans is enrolled in Nevada Medicaid, which assists low-income families, minimum wage workers, children, seniors and people who are disabled.

The need for the state-federal program during the pandemic has grown as many residents have lost their jobs. It now serves 810,000 Nevadans.

By comparison, 617,979 people were signed up in January 2020.

“Medicaid services are always available, and people continue to reach out to us in their time of need,” Suzanne Bierman, the Nevada Medicaid administrator, said in a statement. “The fact is, when more people need assistance, Nevada Medicaid enrollment goes up.”

In April, a month after the statewide shutdown of nonessential business because of the pandemic, a then-record 697,790 people were enrolled in the program.

The previous high was in August 2018 at 690,596 participants.

The number of Nevadans relying on Medicaid has increased steadily each month as the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic continues.

Officials expect enrollment will continue to climb in the upcoming months. A new open enrollment period at Nevada Health Link started Feb. 15 and runs through May 15.

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