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Navigating Obamacare
by Andrea Tyrell
Oct 17, 2013 | 1745 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune file -- Despite a few issues on the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange website, Nevadans began viewing and registering for plans covered under the Affordable Healthcare Act.
Tribune file -- Despite a few issues on the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange website, Nevadans began viewing and registering for plans covered under the Affordable Healthcare Act.
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Veronica Corella has worked as a nanny for the last two years but doesn't receive any form of health insurance from her employer. She is one of the 25 percent of Nevadans who do not have insurance, including over 86,000 people in Washoe County alone that are uninsured. With the launch of the state site where Nevadans can sign up for insurance, those like Corella can soon start receiving care, a positive step for Corella, who needs dental work.

     Nevadans can sign up for health insurance through Silver State Health Insurance Exchange at exchange.nv.gov. Beginning Oct. 1, Nevadans were able to purchase health insurance. Those without computer access are able to apply via telephone. For those who apply early, by Dec. 15, they could receive care by Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment and sign-up ends March 31, 2014. Open enrollment for 2015 opens back up Oct. 31, 2014 and ends Dec. 7, 2014. Businesses across the country that have more than 50 full-time employees must offer their workers health insurance via the Affordable Healthcare Act by January 2015 with essential coverage.

Employees who work 30 hours or more per week, or at least 130 hours per month, are considered full timers by the law. Corella works part-time, babysitting kids after school.

"It's OK," said Corella, who plans on signing up for insurance via ObamaCare. She is also looking at the student insurance the University of Nevada, Reno offers full-time students.

Individuals who receive health insurance through their employer can continue to stay with their employer's insurance providers and apply for a more convenient option through the Affordable Healthcare Act. Small businesses may qualify for a tax credit in order provide their employees with some form of healthcare coverage.     

Small businesses with questions about the Affordable Healthcare Act and how it affects their business an attend a free presentation Friday from 9 to 10 a.m. at 300 Second Street in Reno. This workshop is sponsored by C4Cube and Benefits Resource Group.

Individuals, not businesses, who do not sign up for some kind of insurance via the Affordable healthcare Act by the first of the new year will be subject to a fine. Some individuals and their families could qualify for a tax credit or be bumped up to federal funded care, such as Medicaid. Individuals who income exceeds $500,000 will be additionally taxed.

"It's up to the individual to chose what coverage would be best for them and their family," said Steven Lower, an independent accountant with the Nevada Society of Enrolled Agents. "Each state is different but in Nevada, there are four different options — bronze, which gives you the least amount of coverage, to platinum, which covers almost everything on the healthcare spectrum.

Different business throughout the Truckee Meadows are taking different approaches with their employees' healthcare.

"Take Walgreens for example," said Lower. "They kicked their employees off their health insurance. But they'll give everyone a voucher they can apply to the payment of whatever healthcare they choose to purchase. Other places are reducing the hours of their full-time employees down to part-time."

The Affordable Health Act was passed in 2010. Both supporters and protestors of the acts are required by law to comply with it or face monetary penalties.

"This will either be something great or absolutely terrible," said Lower. "Only time will tell."

For more information about The Affordable Healthcare Act and coverage in Nevada, see www.nevadahealthlink.com. For more information about the Small Business and Affordable Care Act seminar, call C4Cube at (775) 622-9900 or visit www.c4cube.com.
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