New survey suggests 1 in 3 Nevadans experience hardship because of health care costs

Patient Protection Commission to discuss efforts underway to lower health care costs

Carson City September 20, 2022

The Nevada Patient Protection Commission (PPC) will discuss a new survey adding urgency to the need to lower health care costs in Nevada at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, September 21.

As one of six states in the nation engaged in health care reform efforts through the Peterson Milbank Program for Sustainable Health Care Costs, Nevada was able to participate in a Consumer Health Experience State Survey conducted by Altarum Health. The findings suggest that of 1,130 Nevadans surveyed, 65% worry about whether they can afford the cost of health care. Over half reported experiencing delays or gaps in accessing health care over the past 12 months due to the cost. Respondents also report strong support for government policies aimed at addressing high health care costs. Of those who completed the survey, almost 1 in 3 respondents stated they experienced hardships related to the high cost of health care over the past 12 months such as having to skip a medication or not fill a prescription. The survey results will be finalized and posted on the PPC website the week of September 26.

“This survey further supports that health care has become unacceptably too expensive for some Nevadans,” PPC Executive Director Malinda Southard said, adding that Governor Steve Sisolak set a goal line to address this problem with the Health Care Cost Growth Benchmark Executive Order. Signed in December 2021, it set a goal to limit cost growth to 2.37% by 2026.

The PPC is tasked with implementing efforts to reach that goal and to make health care spending more transparent and affordable for Nevadans. The Commission recently proposed that the Governor’s Cost Growth Benchmark Executive Order be passed into state law during the 2023 Legislative Session. In the Spring, the Commission received reports from Medicaid and Public Employees’ Benefits Plan (PEBP) on what is driving health care costs in the state. In December, the Commission will receive an additional report diving into the Medicaid and PEBP analysis to explain why growth in the cost of health care is higher in some areas than others.

“We are tackling health care issues as we identify them one-by-one to ultimately lower costs and increase health care spending transparency in our state,” Southard said. The PPCs efforts are complimentary to the state’s implementation of another health care reform effort underway, the Nevada Public Option, which aims to reduce health care costs in the state’s individual health insurance market. On Friday, September 23 at 12:30 p.m. PST preliminary findings of the impacts of the Public Option will be released at a public webinar with Governor Steve Sisolak. Here the link to the webinar.


Ky Plaskon
Public Information Officer, Division of Health Care Financing and Policy