eyewitness news at 6, 10-25-13

11:32 PM, Oct 25, 2013   |    comments
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    Hello everyone. 

   I'm Frank Malloy.

   Thanks for joining us tonight.

     First tonight, we're 25 days into the Affordable Care Act's rollout of the health insurance marketplace, healthcare dot gov.

     But for 15 percent of Americans who are uninsured...

     Will they really be able to buy affordable health care plans?

     Anita Oh explains how the federal subsidies work.

<Affordability.

That's supposed to be the driving point of President Obama's health care overhaul, the Affordable Care Act.

But will the 48 million Americans who don't have insurance...

Really be able to afford a plan through the marketplace at healthcare.gov?

<once they complete the process, they're very happy with the deal that's available to them>

 

A big part of making health insurance affordable to the masses is a federal subsidy in the form of a tax credit.

Whether you qualify... depends on income and family size.

The subsidy is available for people who make between 100 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

 

If you do qualify for a premium tax credit, you have two options.

     -Apply the credit in advance, which means you'll immediately pay cheaper premiums.

     -Or get the credit as a tax refund, which means you'll get a hefty lump sum back when you file taxes...

     But you'll pay the full cost of your insurance without the subsidy each month until that point.

 

If you choose to get your subsidy in advance, it'll be based on an estimate of your income for the next year.

If that number is incorrect or varies each year, the subsidy will also be incorrect..

Meaning you'll have to pay back the excess, or get a tax refund back if you paid too much.

Take a middle-aged family of 4 who makes an annual income of 40-thousand dollars a year.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation's federal subsidy calculator...

The government would subsidize 84 percent of the premium, which means this family would pay about $163.75 a month for health insurance.

 

But it's important to remember this calculator is just an estimate.

You won't know exact costs or whether you qualify for a subsidy until you fill out a Marketplace application.

You can do that in several ways:

Create an account at health care dot gov and fill out your information online

Apply over the phone at 1-800-318-2596

Or mail in an application to this address.

      If you're offered insurance through your employer or another plan, and it doesn't cost more than 9.5% of your income,

     You won't be eligible for these subsidies or cheaper premiums through the marketplace.

   Even Ben can't do much to turn up the heat outdoors...but that's what a lot of you will be doing inside over the weekend.

  13WMAZ sat down with Lieutenant Demeterius Ellison of the Macon-Bibb Fire Department....and got some tips on heat safety.

     First...that fireplace. If you have one... Ellison says it's important to get it inspected and cleaned before you use it.

     You should also have a fire screen in front of your fireplace.

     He says now is the time to get batteries checked on your smoke detector...and that you place them between bedrooms...and at least one on each floor.

     If you use gas.....Another helpful tool Ellison recommends...is a carbon-monoxide detector.

     He also offered warnings about space heaters.

<the word space, is to give it space. Three feet or 36 inches from curtains, wall to furniture. We ask that you do not leave them on unattended, And ask that you keep it away from combustible material. We also recommend that if you're gonna get a space heater make sure it's the three pronged space heater  and it also has a thermostat that if you tip over it automatically turns off. >

     The National Fire Protection Association says heating equipment caused 57 thousand house fires in the U-S in 2010...that killed nearly 500 people.

     Tomorrow, many Central Georgians will be bundled up...as they head out to Make a difference...and you have an opportunity to help.

     13 WMAZ has partnered with Volunteer Macon and NewTown Macon for National Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service.

     This year, we're heading to Amerson River Park to help improve the canoe launch Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.

    Kristen Swilley caught up with members of Volunteer Macon and NewTown Macon as they prepare for the big day.

<what wer'e going to be doing is a lot of brush cleaning up>

<new picnic tables and some bird houses and things like that and just have a nice little peaceful area by the river>

For the FIFTEENTH year in a row Amy Davidson is doing HER part for National Make A Difference Day. This time the Volunteer Macon Youth Director is preparing to help give the Amerson River Park Recreational area a facelift.

<it really is a treasure in Macon and it's a gift to the whole community>

And she's doing it with the help of NewTown Macon. Director of Place, Kris Hattaway says Saturday's project is inspired by someone in the community already doing their part to make a difference.

<A few months back we had an Eagle Scout candidate Tevah Elan whose project was to improve the canoe area, so he put in some picnic tables and some landscaping >

together they're developing the area for recreational activities. It's all a part of a greater plan to improve the entire Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.

<this project is important because as the park undergoes construction the canoe launch will most likely stay open and that will get a lot more usage throughout this process>

<so volunteers are almost completely ready for tomorrow, but they do need  you to bring out some key supplies like chainsaws and...don't forget to bring your gloves>

In Macon...Kristen Swilley...13 WMAZ Eyewitness News.

We hope you'll join us tomorrow as we help give back. Things kick off at 9 a.m. 

   You could say...there's room for a little bias on the next topic.

   We're talking about the Spirits in October: Lucky or Unlucky 13.

   If you're asking us.... We're a little partial to the number...and many central Georgians will be having some fun with it too...at an annual event designed to get folks into the Halloween Spirit.

   Elise Brown is at the historic Riverside Cemetery tonight...where some spooktakular events are just getting started.

   Hello, Elise...

<elise adlibs about spirits in october>

    Thank you very much, Elise.

    The preceding segment was furnished by the The Historic Riverside Cemetery Conservancy.

     And if you're interested in getting tickets... You can call (478) 301 5470.

     That number again... 301-5470.

The last time Byron had monster trucks...Was June. Now... In time for halloween...

The super sized trucks are back...

At the Middle georgia motor speedway.

Wes Blankenship went out to the track today...

To see the rally course... Take shape

The raceway will hold two shows... On saturday...

Gates open for the first show at eleven thirty a m...

And at five p m... For the second show.

There will also be a costume contest... And visitors...

From the underworld haunted house.

Admission is free... For kids under five...

Ten dollars... For ages six to twelve...

And fifteen dollars... For adults

Thanks for joining us.  We'll be back tonight at 10 on Central Georgia's CW...and right back here for Eyewitness News at 11.

For now, we say good night with a look at this week's "this is Home"...

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