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Sen. Heller gets an ear full about Las Vegans’ healthcare

On Tuesday, according to MyNews3, over two dozen Las Vegas citizens came together to voice their complaints about the Affordable Care Act. Their frustrations also included issues with the way the state’s healthcare exchange is being operated. The Las Vegans brought their grievances to Nevada’s U.S. Senator, Dean Heller, at a roundtable discussion.

How will the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) affect the smaller employers of Nevada?

Heller was interested in what those within the healthcare industry thought about the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. But, what impressed many was his interest in the heartfelt opinions of Las Vegas small business owners. He wanted to know their impressions of the way the Nevada health insurance exchange is currently functioning.

Senator Heller didn’t believe there to be much of a buzz going on about the Nevada exchange. That was, until Tuesday’s meeting:

‘Boy I got an earful. I got an earful in this particular meeting.’

He now understands that there’s much need for improvement as far as the state’s exchange is concerned.

Nevada Health Link Application Issues

The Senator’s office wasn’t officially invited to take part in the roundtable discussion. However, the guests were really interested in speaking with Heller candidly, according to his staff. So, he obliged. It seems that their main concerns were related to navigation issues on the state’s exchange website.

One example of this includes being able to simply “go back and fix” simple mistakes. Let’s you forget to add your middle name. You get to the end and realize you need to correct this. Well, the website won’t let you go back to fix it. In situations like these, you’ll need to start from the beginning again.

And, what about signing up for healthcare on the phone? Well, there have been complaints from Las Vegans who’ve waited for about two hours trying to reach someone by phone.

Xerox Promises to Fix System Performance Problems

Communications Officer, CJ Bawden, of the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange was asked about these concerns. According to him, the system is operated by Xerox, who has promised to allocate many more resources in order to make the entire system perform more efficiently.

Last week, Governor Brian Sandoval, had a talk with Xerox’s CEO about the issues Nevadans have been having with Nevada Health Link. It was then that Xerox made a pledge to use all resources necessary to fix the issues with both the call center and website for all residents of Nevada.

There was also another complaint that should be noted. It involves the enrollment of ‘Invincibles’, which is how the system refers to enrollees between the ages of 18 to 30. This age category actually represents 20 percent of all Nevada enrollees whose healthcare has been paid for already.

To date, over 13,000 people have enrolled in and paid for healthcare within the Nevada Health Link system. Las Vegans are encouraged to apply now to avoid missing the deadline of March 31, 2014, which is just weeks away.

Healthcare Info for Nevada’s Small Businesses

Currently, Las Vegas small businesses are not required to provide healthcare for employees, and won’t be penalized for not doing so. However, those who do offer good health insurance increase their chances of attracting and retaining good employees.

If your Nevada small business has less than 50 employees, you can purchase health insurance for them through the Small Business Health Options Program, also known as Nevada Health Link’s SHOP. Once your company information has been entered, you can view a list of employer healthcare plans available in your local Nevada community.

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