Employees from the non-profit group Enroll America had partnered with healthcare navigators to help people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act Tuesday, but website issues dashed their plans. Instead, Enroll America staffers handed out information and gave presentations to the public at the East Point branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System.
Georgia’s federally-run online health exchange is scheduled to open at 12:01 Tuesday morning, but the state’s 2 million uninsured might need to wait for enrollment assistance. According to Gary Allen, a media relations representative for Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, only four “healthcare navigators” have been licensed in the state.
On October 1, the Affordable Care Act’s online exchange will open to consumers seeking health insurance. People will be able to go to Healthcare.gov and select the plan they feel is best for them. However, that is what some insurance agents are worried about. “As agents we now have competition,” explained Dan Fleming, a long-time agent in Dekalb County.
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.
Dozens of supporters of the Affordable Care Act rallied outside the office of Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens Thursday. Democratic state lawmakers and members from organizations like Georgia’s AFL-CIO and Protect Your Care said they were disappointed by Hudgens’s recent remarks about the ACA, commonly called ObamaCare.