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.
A winter weather advisory is in effect for most of our viewing area until 6pm tonight, and there are reports of 3 to 7 inches that have fallen in the area already. We'll bring you the latest on the biggest snowstorm of the season so far and take you live outside in Rhinelander to tell you about current road conditions.
We'll take you live to Green Bay and bring you the latest on Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers who was medically cleared to return from a collarbone injury and is expected to play this weekend against Carolina.
And the school board of Merrill will make a decision on details of a referendum which will be on the April ballot.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander couple thought they were empty nesters. However, an experience volunteering made them open their doors back up to kids who need a temporary home. The Zoerb's adult children moved out years ago. But at any moment they could get a call from social services that make them bring out their parenting skills for another round. Rick and Danielle Zoerb work together as realtors putting people in homes that are the perfect fit. However, the husband and wife know their home can be a good fit for others too. "There's no reason for kids to have to fall through the cracks," said Dani. Rick met a child at a mentorship program a few years ago. It was a meeting that opened a new door for him and his wife. "There was no hesitation on our part when we felt the situation was deteriorating for this young boy," said Rick.
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