Library district hosting workshops through March for Affordable Care Act enrollment

The deadline for open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act has been pushed to March 31. To help Las Vegas Valley residents, the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District has scheduled sign-up opportunities at various branches.

The federal government did not ask the library district to host support people. It stepped forward to offer the help.

“What generally happens in almost all government programs — often in these type of situations, federal or state, where a computer is required — they’ll say, ‘Hey, just go to your local library,’ ” said Tom Fay, library district deputy director. “So we try to pre-empt that, especially with something as complicated as the Affordable Care Act.”

The effort coincides with AARP’s programming, which has been holding informational meetings since Oct. 1, seeing anywhere from four to more than 70 attendees. The AARP program held at least 12 public informational meetings at libraries. Those meetings had 433 attendees. Enrollment facilitators helped 1,457 people sign up for care, Fay said.

“We knew it was going to be an evolving process,” he said. “Everyone knew it’d be pretty hectic at first, that there would be issues, and some of it would be sorted out as we went.”

On Jan. 30, View visited the Rainbow Library, 3150 N. Buffalo Drive, where Randall Downey was the exchange enrollment facilitator. Normally, he said, he sees people by appointment, which can take from 45 minutes to two hours. He helps people build a profile to see if they’re eligible for tax credits, then the computer takes into consideration their circumstances to see what plans would work for them. Then they choose from the plans, based on the level of coverage they need, co-pays and other considerations. He helps them compare plans before signing up.

“We get a lot of snowbirds,” Downey said. “So, the big question we get is, ‘Where can I use that?’ “

He said they need to enroll in their home state, wherever they have their permanent residency.

There are three carriers in Southern Nevada — Anthem BlueCross, Health Plan of Nevada (UnitedHealthcare) and Nevada Health Co-op. The last was originally for culinary workers who could not reach the threshold of hours needed for employer coverage. The co-op is now, by law, open to nonculinary workers in Nevada.

This day, no one had signed up for an appointment, so Downey took walk-ins.

“We normally do it by appointment,” he said. “I’ll normally do seven (appointments) a day; it could be a family or it could be an individual.”

This day, Spring Valley resident Sylvia Smith was looking for coverage as she has no insurance, despite being employed full time. She had difficulty with the online sign-up accepting her information, was frustrated and needed information on how to resolve it. She learned of the sign-up help through the library district’s website, lvccld.org.

After Downey helped her, she said other places, such as community centers, should host such free assistance.

How did she feel about the Affordable Care Act?

“I’m ecstatic. There are no words to express it,” Smith said. “We’re living in a country that’s highly developed. It’s in our best interest for everyone to have health coverage.”

Northwest resident Sylvia Garcia also dropped in. She said her employer does not always give her a full-time schedule.

“I’m with culinary, but because I’m on call, I don’t get so many hours,” Garcia said. “So I need to pay … I called one of the numbers on TV, and they told me to come here today.”

Garcia said she appreciated having a place where she could talk face-to-face with someone and was surprised not to see more people there.

North Las Vegas resident Howard Kelly stopped in to “try and put out some fires for my daughter, who is 30.”

The daughter is a part-time worker, he said, and he wanted to make sure she wasn’t “hit with penalties.” Kelly said free preventative care that offered procedures such as mammograms and colonoscopies with no out-of-pocket expenses was a good thing.

“Absolutely. I like the mental health program, too,” he said.

Downey said he likes helping people get coverage “but to me, the most gratifying is when people come in saying, ‘I think this whole idea is miserable, I’m being forced to buy coverage … why am I being forced to do this?’ So I say, ‘Well, you’re here, so let’s take a look and see what you think.’ It’s always interesting to me, at the end of a session, to see them walk away (with coverage and) paying substantially less for comprehensive coverage.

“They may not have a smile on their face, but they’re not as angry as they were when they walked in,” he said. “The second most gratifying (thing) is, we get a lot of young families who work for small businesses or are possibly self-employed who could never afford insurance but who were worried about their children. It’s always very gratifying to have them exit the room after finding coverage for the entire household.”

Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at jhogan@viewnews.com or 702-387-2949.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
North Las Vegas Water Meters
Randy DeVaul shows off the new water meters that the city is installing.
Project 150 Thanksgiving 2018
About 100 volunteers for Project 150 box Thanksgiving meals for high school students and their families in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Three Square’s Maurice Johnson Talks About Food Waste
Three Square’s director of operations Maurice Johnson talks about food waste.
Parade preparation nears completion
Downtown Summerlin prepares for its annual holiday parade.
Clark County Wetlands promotes 2019 Wetland Walker Program
This year the park will be celebrating the Northern Flicker. The program is designed to teach about that bird, and encourage people to visit the Wetlands and walk the same distance the bird migrates each year.
Poet’s Walk Henderson introduces storytelling
Residents enjoy a storytelling activity.
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like