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NEWS STORIES

Small business online exchange access delayedSubmitted: 09/26/2013

Adam Fox
10 p.m. Anchor/Reporter
afox@wjfw.com


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.







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WISCONSIN - The Wisconsin DNR wants to know if it has the right plans for beavers in the state. The final public feedback period is open for the new beaver management plan.

The document will guide decisions on beavers through 2025. The final draft touches on topics like population, habitat, and damage management. The current draft recommends keeping beaver populations mostly stable in the state.

Public input for the final beaver management plan is open through June 22. The DNR will also host a public meeting on June 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the DNR Service Center in Rhinelander to take comments.

You can read the final draft of the plan by clicking the link below. Another link shows opportunities for feedback.

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MINOCQUA - Many golf courses in the Northwoods need to work hard to make a profit each year. Cold northern springs and falls mean a shorter playing season than other parts of the state. Many increase their rates near the peak of tourism season.

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"We all just kind of thought, what a nice idea, to just say thank you to all of our customers. (We thought,) come on out for a free week of golf," said Timber Ridge PGA Professional Jerry Collins.

The course was in great shape by late April. Golfers flooded in to play during the entire week.


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ONEIDA COUNTY - Last Thursday, 15 members of the Oneida County community graduated from Leadership Oneida County. The nine-month program aims to give participants a better understanding of the county's resources and to improve participation in organizations throughout the county.

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RHINELANDER -  A Northwoods veterans group wants people to remember those who died serving our country. 

The Oneida County Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony in Rhinelander on Monday.

The Rhinelander High School band and choir performed at the ceremony.

Mayor Dick Johns was the speaker. 

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MERRILL - Hundreds of people gathered in Merrill on Monday to honor the lives of the service men and women lost over the years.

"From the Second World War, there were over 400,000 men and women who lost their lives, and it took a tremendous toll on our young people," said World War II veteran Richard Bjorklund.

The ceremony featured a guest speaker and acknowledged those still alive who served. People young and old remembered friends and family who are no longer here.

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Tears were shed thinking of the memories of loved ones, remembering freedom comes with a price.

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