Health insurance exchange rollout starts on Oct. 1 - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Health insurance exchange rollout starts on Oct. 1

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

There's been hype and political controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act, and by Oct. 1, Nevada's uninsured will be able to shop for plans.

According to Nevada's Department of Health and Human Services, in 2011 there were 445,000 uninsured people statewide.

"The theory behind this whole law is if we can get everyone in the country on an insurance plan or covered, it's going to help everyone's rates," said Todd Rich, deputy commissioner for Nevada's Insurance Division.

The plans will take effect starting in January, and Nevada's Insurance Division is trying to make it a littler easier on everyone.

"We've put all the rates out on our website and we've developed a really nice lookup tool so people can look at individuals plans both on and off the exchange," Rich said.

The website is a step-by-step process allowing users to search for coverage types. The website hosts an entire list of exchanges that come up with different plans and the potential amount a consumer would pay.

Additionally, Nevada Insurance Commissioner Scott Kipper says they are in the process of training over 1,200 brokers and insurance brokers on how this system should work. Kipper also says they're training an additional 200 to 300 exchange and enrollment facilitators and certified applications counselors to help people navigate through.

"Who will be able to sit down and walk through consumer options, with all the products, where they might land, what plan best fits their situation," Kipper said.

The Nevada Insurance Division said uninsured Nevadans often use the emergency room as their primary care physician, but if they signed up through one of the exchanges, the division said it would change that.

"I think what this law is trying to do is lets get these folks some type of coverage so they can get preventative care, they can see a primary care doc, and not have to use expensive services down the road," Rich said.

The division also says there are likely to be scammers trying to take advantage of consumers once people can officially enroll in the exchanges.

The website also offers a tool where consumers can enter the name of a company contacting them and find out if they are legitimate.

Link to Nevada Insurance Division's website: http://healthrates.doi.nv.gov

Link to site to check if a provider is a legitimate company: http://doi.nv.gov/licensing-search

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