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Oneida County prepares for Affordable Care ActSubmitted: 07/06/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Oneida County prepares for Affordable Care Act
RHINELANDER - The Affordable Care Act might make it easier for individuals to have health insurance.

But Oneida County thinks they'll need to increase their workforce to make that happen.

Oneida County Social Services hopes to hire two more case workers.

But the labor relations board and the county board still need to approve the hires.

Social Services wants to be ready to help people apply for health insurance.

Amy Mayo, Oneida County Support Programs Supervisor, says, "The caseload and the volume of work that we'll need to process as a department as a whole will definitely increase for everybody. We're spending this time right now looking at different efficiencies and things we can do to make it as smooth a process as we can for the clients."

The Act, also known as Obamacare, created a marketplace where Americans can buy insurance with the help of the government.

Mayo says a person's income determines the insurance program a person can enroll in.

"Badgercare, again, will be children under 300 percent poverty level, adults under 100 percent poverty level. Marketplace will handle the people that are over 100 percent poverty level and the children over 300 percent poverty level," she says.

Mayo says it can be confusing so it's best to contact Social Services.

They will help you figure out what program you are eligible for.

"With the marketplace, clients also have the ability to apply locally. We will do an income test in the application. They will have to verify their income. If they fall over the 100 percent poverty level as an adult, then we would transfer that application or send them on to the marketplace," says Mayo.

Applications for the Federal Program open October 1st.

Coverage begins January 1st.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/25/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

We'll bring you details about an accident involving two semi-trucks this morning on Highway 29 in Marathon County that left one driver dead and the other driver in the hospital.

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CHETEK, WI - Sheriff's officials in northwestern Wisconsin have identified the teens involved in a fatal plane crash.

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MADISON - Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that makes clear that unaccompanied minors can attend music festivals where alcohol is being served.

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RHINELANDER - For the last 15 years principal Shirley Heise guided and led students at Rhinelander's Nativity of Our Lord Catholic school.  Late last week Heise learned she was dismissed immediately with two weeks left to go in the school year.

Some parents demanded an explanation and are still waiting on an answer.

"Couldn't have asked for a better partner," Cathy Deede said.

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VILAS COUNTY - People in Vilas County will see a new member of the Sheriff's Department.

His name is Helo, and he's the new K9 unit.

He's a year-and-a-half-old Belgian Malinois from Hungary.

Helo replaces Draco, the Vilas County K9 who retired in 2016.

Helo and his handler, Deputy Zac Stern, recently got back from a six-week long training program in North Carolina.

"Give him a command, they're all in Dutch, that way I'm the only one who's familiar with the commands," Stern said.

Helo will be with Deputy Zac Stern on all of his shifts. He also lives at home with Stern.

Helo is trained in drug detection and apprehension.

"They're able to do things a lot more efficiently than we can and a lot faster," Stern said. "Kind of referring to the tracking, whether it's a missing person or a criminal we're trying to track down, obviously he can do that a lot faster."

Deputy Stern says Helo is a very friendly dog, and if you see them out and about, don't be afraid to say hello.

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RHINELANDER - An Oneida County committee will wait at least one more week before deciding whether a new Minocqua hospital can go forward.

The county's Planning and Development committee didn't vote on the issue at a meeting on Wednesday. Committee members want more time to review hundreds of documents submitted on the question.

Marshfield Clinic wants to build a 12-bed hospital in Minocqua. That hospital would be less than a mile from Howard Young Hospital in Woodruff.

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