Doctors Seeing More Patients Thanks to Health Care Law - 8 News NOW

Doctors Seeing More Patients Thanks to Health Care Law

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LAS VEGAS -- Thousands of Nevadans' new health care coverage through the state health care exchange started Jan. 1.

It has only been two days, but the new law is already having an impact on the Las Vegas valley.

The newly insured are now booking doctors appointments and filling appointment books.

Doctors say they've been waiting for this for months. Many have even hired more people to deal with the crowds starting this month.

Now, they're expecting more women than ever to seek medical care.

Healthcare navigators are seeing lots of women signing up for insurance for the first time, and they believe there are a few big reasons.

Under the new Affordable Care Act, every policy must cover maternity care plus lifesaving tests now have no co-pay.

"Women can now have mammograms and other screenings that are done for free. The annual checkup that you have at your doctor is now free," healthcare navigator Andres Ramirez said.

As women keep signing up for insurance coverage, Las Vegas doctors like Kimball Huang have been anticipating big numbers of new patients for months.

"We've increased our staff to be aware of this possible onslaught," Dr. Kimball Huang with Healthcare Partners said.

Many of those new health providers are women to make female patients feel more comfortable.

Further, the hope is this will motivate more women to come in and get screenings, plus discuss their health openly and honestly.

"If we're able to pick up an illness in its earlier stages, we can effectively treat that, and also cure that condition," Dr. Huang said.

Nurse practitioner Kimberly Phillips is part of a small downtown clinic.. She is also preparing for more patients.

She says doctors are making changes practice-wide to get patients in quickly and effectively.

"I think what we're seeing now is smart medicine. We're seeing medicine that is meeting the needs of audience that it is targeted towards," Phillips said.

Doctors expect even more new patients to arrive as it gets closer to the March 31 deadline, which is the last day to sign up for the state health exchange.

You can still sign up for coverage under the state health exchange. If you would like coverage to start Feb. 1, you need to pick a plan and pay for it by Jan. 15.

Go to, nevadahealthlink.com for more information.

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