LAS VEGAS - Nevada's health insurance exchange goes live October 1. Beginning Tuesday, thousands of Nevadans who lack health insurance can enroll into the exchange, which helps people obtain coverage and comply with the Affordable Care Act.
By 2014, most Americans must have health insurance or face a penalty on their taxes. If you already have insurance, you don't need to do anything.
If you don't have insurance, you can enroll for it beginning October 1.
The State of Nevada's Health Link website enables users to find a plan that fits their budget. State officials say there are many misconceptions regarding the health insurance exchange and the Affordable Care Act.
One such misconception is that people must have insurance by October 1. October 1 is the date when people can begin the enrollment process. People are encouraged to shop for a plan that fits their needs.
If you want your coverage to begin January 1, 2014, you have until December 15 to enroll. People can enroll beyond December 15, but coverage would not begin January 1, 2014. Open enrollment runs through March 31. If someone enrolls in January or February, coverage would begin one month after enrollment.
Another frequently asked question comes from people on Medicare. Those on Medicare do not need to do anything. Medicare coverage is protected under the Affordable Care Act and those on Medicare are considered covered under the act. Nevada Health Link is directly related to health plans for people who are not on Medicare.
Many people also want to know if they qualify for federal assistance to pay for insurance.
"If you're a single person, not married, income between about sixteen thousand dollars up to about forty six thousand dollars, if you're a family of four that has an income of about thirty two thousand, five hundred up to ninety two thousand dollars, then you'll be able to qualify for some type of help with health insurance," said Nevada Health Link Spokesman C. J. Bawden.
Those with expanded Medicaid coverage may qualify for a tax subsidy to help pay for health insurance, or they may qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Beginning October 1, you can access the Nevada Health Link website to begin shopping for a plan. If you don't have a computer or access to the Internet, you can set up an appointment to talk with someone in person by calling 1-855-768-5465. A representative will give you a list of locations near you.