Local businesses consider impact of ACA

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Local businesses consider impact of ACA

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Members of the Reno Sparks Chamber of Commerce came together on Wednesday to learn more about how the Affordable Care Act could impact them.

Members of the Reno Sparks Chamber of Commerce came together on Wednesday to learn more about how the Affordable Care Act could impact them. For many, it was not a concern. Francisca Lugo manages the benefits for the Silver Legacy.

"We already provide plans to even our part-time people and we provide plans to our full-time people."

Silver Legacy is in that 98 percent of larger businesses with 50 or more employees that will not see much change because of the Affordable Care Act's employer mandate. Lugo says they're still tweaking their plans and that will be ongoing the rest of the year.

CEO of the Silver State Healthcare Exchange John Hager says some businesses will have to decide if it makes sense to extend benefits to spouses and dependents.

"If you have lower paid staff, let's say you want to offer coverage to employees, but not the dependents--you don't want to pay for the dependents. If you don't subsidize dependents, you shouldn't even offer it. You should allow those dependents to potentially seek out the tax credit through the individual market."

For those companies where employees make more, say 50,000 plus dollars, Hager says they'll most likely continue offering plans to dependents and spouses, because they won't be eligible for the federal tax credit on the exchange.

Hager says while they're still working through issues with the state-run NevadaHealthLink.com, it's nowhere as bad as the federal one.

"Their issues are not our issues. They've got a lot bigger issues than we have. Now that's not to say we don't have our own issues we're dealing with, but our site continues to be improved."

Some reports have indicated the site is not secure, but Hager says that was for the federally facilitated site, and the federal data hub they connect to is different.