Enrollment in Georgia's federally–run health insurance marketplace starts in less than a month. More than 316,000 Georgians have signed up for coverage during the first enrollment period back in March.
The Affordable Care Act is complex and controversial. People who are trying to raise awareness about it are in an uphill battle. The problems for healthcare navigators began early, with the bungled October 2013 debut of healthcare.gov, the federal exchange website. At the same time, a controversy over policy cancellations led to a nationwide wave of bad publicity about the ACA. And in Georgia, members of the Republican-led political establishment have remained firmly opposed to the ACA.
The number of Georgians signing up for a health plan through the Affordable Care Act insurance exchange increased to 6,859 by the end of last month, up from 1,390 as of Nov. 2, federal officials announced Wednesday. The rise in enrollees reflects, in part, a better-functioning federal website, which has been plagued with problems since ACA enrollment began Oct. 1.
More than 650,000 Georgians will be eligible for subsidies in the health insurance exchange, the seventh-highest total in the nation, a new report said Tuesday. A total of 17 million people who are uninsured or who buy their own coverage will be eligible for the discounts, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.
For Harold Weber, an Athens resident who worked in the health insurance industry for 30 years, the most important aspect of the Affordable Care Act is its approach. Weber watched the rise and fall of HMO plans in the 1990s and believes the ACA will finally succeed where others failed. That’s why he applied to be one of Georgia’s 100 ACA health care navigators.
Georgia's medium-sized cities aren't entirely on their own when it comes to enrollment help under the Affordable Care Act. Federal health navigator grants went to organizations based either in Metro Atlanta or in Georgia's smallest communities. Places in the middle, such as Savannah and Columbus, weren't part of the recent award.
About 100 people in Georgia are preparing this week for October 1 and the opening of a new health insurance exchange. These workers will help eligible Georgians navigate the online marketplace and figure out what coverage they need and how much help they can expect from the government to pay for it.
Online healthcare insurance exchanges will open in less than two weeks, but some local organizations are still working to prepare their “healthcare navigators.” Those navigators will be trained specialists who can guide consumers through the online insurance marketplace to buy coverage.