CARSON CITY, NEV.--(KRNV & MyNews4.com)--On October 1st, millions of Americans will be able to sign up for health care under the "Affordable Care Act". For almost two years now, a state program has been preparing for the launch.
"I think Nevada is in a good position, we are one of the leading states," says Jon Hager, the executive director of The Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.
Hager and his staff having been working very hard to make sure the website,www.nevadahealthlink.com, is ready for the launch of open enrollment in October. Nevada is one of 15 states with a state-run program providing consumers with information on different insurance types and costs.
"We wanted to make sure that Nevada Health Link, the exchange in Nevada, was run by Nevadans, we didn't want the federal government to come into Nevada and run it for us," says Hager.
Hager says there's several benefits with the state program; about 200 new jobs were created, fees for insurance companies are less, and there will be a state-run call center to help any Nevadan who may have a question.
"If we weren't doing that here in Nevada, if the Feds came in and ran it, the call center would be in a different state we wouldn't have the staff working, it would be staff with the Feds," says Hager
Hager expects about 115,000 Nevadans to enroll under the Affordable Care Act within the first year. He says about 100,000 Nevadans are living day to day without any type of health insurance.
The new website is going to allow you to look at different premiums side by side, compare deductibles. Hager says there will also be a provider look up where you can see if your doctor and hospital are under that insurance plan.
"We are going to make it as simple as possible, but there's a lot of complicated things people need to understand. what insurance is all about, why should they purchase insurance is they're a healthy person? Well you know if you have an accident, you want to make sure you're covered on your doctors bills and your insurance will pay for a majority of that," says Hager.
Open enrollment for the new health care starts on October 1st. The Nevada Exchange is recommending people sign up starting October 7th. They expect a big wave of people the first week, and that may clog up the system. Open enrollment begins on October 1st 2013 and goes until March 31st 2014. If you want your insurance be in effect on January 1st, 2014, you'll want to sign up before December 15th, 2013.