Navigators Helping Clear Up Health Care Confusion - 8 News NOW

Navigators Helping Clear Up Health Care Confusion

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LAS VEGAS -- There are nearly 600,000 Nevadans without insurance; however, because of the Affordable Care Act those people will soon be open to penalties if they are not enrolled by March 31.

That deadline is not that far away, but confusion over price quotes and where to go for information are holding many uninsured back from getting coverage.

Gerberto Munoz and his wife had no idea what to do when they tried to sign up for insurance. They struggled with the Nevada HealthLink website, which is where people can sign up for the health insurance through the state's health care exchange.

"We tried to do it at home but we couldn't make anything because it wasn't working," Munoz said.

The family sought the help of trained health care navigators at the Ramirez Group, who can help sign up people up for a health plan.

"We literally have been servicing hundreds of people who needed help processing their application." Andres Ramirez with the Ramirez Group said.

For people getting started in finding health insurance, the prices that are first shown can be confusing and higher than many people expected.

However, navigators like Ramirez say people should not be fooled. He says many people like the Munozes qualify for massive tax breaks.

One person making less than about $46,000 a year qualifies for the tax breaks.

For two people, the threshold is $62,040. For three people, it is $78,120. A family of four people can qualify if they make $94,200. For a family of five, the threshold is less than $110,280.

Qualifying for a tax break means people only pay anywhere between $80 and $250 a month.

"The plans that are being offered through Nevada HealthLink are certainly a benefit to at least the folks we are seeing here at our offices," Ramirez said. "It has been fulfilling for us to see the amount of families that were able to come here and complete the application and leave here very happy."

For the Munoz family, they will now save about $200 a month in insurance premiums.

To contact the Ramirez Group, call (702) 530-5249. The group is located at 531 South 7th Street.  

Some people have expressed concern about turning over personal information to the trained navigators. To make sure a navigator is licensed by the state, check his or her badge number and match it to information in the Division of Insurance website.

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