Brooks County Employees Turn to Obamacare for Health Insurance

Now that Brooks County commissioners have voted to cancel health insurance plans for all county employees, those employees are trying to find other ways to get insurance.

On Friday, county employees were trying to qualify for a tax credit subsidy from the federal government through the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare; but not everyone qualifies.

"It is on a case-by-case basis, and so it just depends. There's many factors, you know -- age, income levels, number of household, persons in the household -- and so it just would depend,"  said Olivia Jaimes, a benefits consultant at Heavin & Associates. "Whenever you qualify for the tax credit, it's based off of income, and so just depending on what the income level is would depend on the amount of subsidy that they qualify for."

It was just two days ago when the Brooks County Commissioners Court voted to terminate the healthcare plans for all 95 employees in the county, saying the county simply does not have the money to pay for the health insurance plans.

A makeshift office has been set up at the Ed Rachal Memorial Library across from the Brooks County Courthouse. Benefits consultants with Heavin & Associates are working to enroll county employees through the government's website, but what happens to the county employees that don't qualify for the tax credit subsidy?

"Well, the ones that don't qualify, we can still help them," Jaimes said. "We're able to you know, write them directly through the carrier, and they're able to purchase insurance directly through one of the carriers that we represent."

Consultants with Heavin & Associates say they are dedicated to helping the county employees try to enroll in plans as long as the enrollment period is available, and that's until March 31.

The insurance agency said they have agents available and on hand for those that have questions. You can reach them at 361-852-8005.


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