ACROSS WISCONSIN - Small Businesses and uninsured Americans can buy health insurance on the federal exchange starting Tuesday, Oct 1.
People can do it online at healthcare.gov.
But small businesses won't be able to register online until November 1st.
The Obama administration said Thursday businesses can still enroll starting Oct. 1, but they'll have to do it over the phone or on paper.
Under the Affordable Care Act businesses with more than 50 employees will need to buy plans for their workers or be fined.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker worries about how that will affect their growth.
"We're going to try and do more to help them out in the private market, so that the folks who go beyond the exchange have as many options as possible, Walker said. "But it has been and will continue to be an issue for small businesses."
The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance worked with business owners at a small business summit in Stevens Point Wednesday.
The department tried to help small businesses understand what the changes mean for them. Melissa Remis owns a few small business in Wisconsin. She says those changes add uncertainty.
"There is some good stuff and some bad stuff about it, I am diabetic and I like the fact that I can't get turned down for insurance," Remis said.
But she adds those changes add uncertainty.
"How it's going to effect is still something that we will have to work out and figure out what's going to be best," Remis said.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, most Americans could end up paying less than 100 dollars a month for health insurance on the federal exchange.
They'll be able to choose from up to four levels of plans.
People in Wisconsin will pay $361 a month for a mid-level coverage plan on the exchange. That's hirer than the $328 average nationwide.
A 27-year-old making $25,000 a year could get the low level bronze plan for $96 a month with help from a federal subsidy.
A family of four making $50,000 could get the low level bronze plan for $106 a month with help from a federal subsidy.
RHINELANDER - People lived through detours, dust, and demolition throughout most of 2016 in downtown Rhinelander. Residents won't see that kind of work in 2017, but the city is planning more closures and road work to finish up the Streetscape Project.
Crews will start with the Davenport Street Bridge shutting down for a month in starting April 17. Public Works Director Tim Kingman says some sections of concrete, sidewalk, and asphalt pavement shifted, settled and cracked over the winter.
TOMAHAWK - Tomahawk High School sporting events got an attendance boost this winter. At the same time, local charities benefited from the community's generosity.
The school's Varsity Club sponsored six nights of special events, one for each winter sport. The Varsity Club gave out T-shirts printed with team rosters. Meanwhile, fans brought donations for local charities.
"Each kid would walk in and they'd put on their T-shirt," said Varsity Club member Jackie Elliott. "When we got our student section going, they were all together, and you just had this block of white. It was awesome."
WAUSAU - A contractor fell from a ladder and died at the construction site of the new Hilton Garden Inn in Wausau last week. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the death.
Marathon County Sheriff's Captain Dale Wisnewski said Shane J. Cash, 45, of Wisconsin Rapids was drilling holes in the ceiling on Thursday when he fell from his ladder and died on scene.
RHINELANDER - Cracked concrete, twisted rebar, and overgrown trees and bushes don't paint the most ideal picture for a park. But a Rhinelander alderman sees the perfect chance for a peaceful place to enjoy nature.
Alderman Alex Young hopes to turn an old snow dumping dock site into a "pocket park." The site sits where Norway Street runs into the Wisconsin River behind Ripco Credit Union and the DNR Service Center building.
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