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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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 IN OTHER NEWS

PHILLIPS - Police want to figure out what caused the death of a 16 year old girl in Phillips.

Officers were called to an apartment in downtown Phillips with a report of a medical emergency.

The call was made about 6:00 Thursday morning, after the girl was found not breathing and unresponsive.

She was determined to be dead, but there was no apparent cause.

An autopsy was requested by the Price County Coroner.

No foul play is suspected, but the death remains under investigation.

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WOOD COUNTY - A motorcycle crash seriously hurt a man late Saturday night.

According to the Wood County Sheriff's Office, it happened around 11 p.m. in the Township of Biron.

Police think the motorcycle driver was making a slight turn on County Highway U and passed another car. 

That's when the motorcycle driver lost control, went off the road and hit a tree. The driver was thrown off the 
motorcycle.

Crews took the man to St. Joseph's Hospital with serious injuries, and they don't yet know the status of his condition. No other people were on the motorcycle.

Police also think speed and alcohol could have played a part in the crash. They are still investigating and will not yet release the name. 

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CRANDON - Pounding rain, howling winds, and flashing lightning�"not the most ideal conditions for camping on Saturday night.

In fact, Saturday night's bad weather couldn't have picked a worse time for thousands of people to set up camp at the Crandon Race Track.

"We were holding onto the awning last night," said Keegan Kincaid, a racer from Crandon. ."It was pouring."

"Our canopy [got] rained [on] so much we had to keep pushing it up so it wouldn't collapse," said Paul Posbrig, a fan from Green Bay.

"It was coming in all over," said Jessie Braden, a fan from Richfield.

But for Crandon fans, the rain certainly didn't dampen the weekend.

"But we made the best of it," said Braden, who comes to Crandon every summer for the Brush Run.

"We had a canopy at one point and put up tarps on the walls as we got downpoured on and it was all windy," Braden said. "If we're going camping, it's going to rain!"

The fans also got their fair share of noise because the rain didn't really affect the race schedule.

"We just had to wait a little bit longer before we could put crews out on the track," said the raceway's announcer, Dave Mullins. "So needed it to dry off a little bit first. But really it was only about a half hour."

But it certainly changed the racers' strategy.

"And so you'll see a lot of changes in trucks and driving styles," Kincaid said.
"Figure out the track, sort out where the grip is, where it's wet, where it's dry," said Arie Luyendyk, Jr., a racer from Arizona.

But Crandon's track is pretty resilient.

"Most tracks we wouldn't be able to race on it the next day, but Crandon has a lot of clay," Kincaid said.

"Because this is a clay track, it doesn't absorb the water as much, it makes it more like a mud pit," Mullins said.

Sunday's nice weather quickly brought the track's conditions back to normal.

"I thought we were going to be racing in the mud, but turns out because of the sun and wind we're actually going back to our setup we had yesterday," Luyendyk, Jr., said. 

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MINOCQUA - Things don't always go well out on the water. That's why Oneida County has a specialized dive team ready to respond whenever there's an emergency.

But funding the dive team is expensive. Saturday, community groups came together to help raise money for the team at the Minocqua Swim Challenge.

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RHINELANDER - Lumberjacks returned to Rhinelander Saturday for the 3rd annual Boom Lake Log Jam.

The event celebrates the city's logging history while showing off both old and new lumberjack skills.

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PRICE COUNTY - A truck versus train crash killed a woman late Saturday morning.

According to the Price County Sheriff's Office, it happened at the intersection of County Road D and the Canadian National Railroad tracks in the Township of Knox.

Police think a 76-year-old man was driving the truck with a 76-year-old woman in the passenger seat, and the truck and the train collided.

Several different agencies responded, including Canadian National Railroad investigators.

Crews took the man to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield, and they took the woman to Aspirus Hospital in Wausau where she later died.

Police are still investigating and will not yet release the names.

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MANITOWOC - A Manitowoc doctor is charged in federal court with drug trafficking. A grand jury this week indicted Dr. Charles Szyman on 19 counts of unlawfully prescribing prescription drugs.

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