Looking for health insurance? Georgia insurance navigators can help
LISTEN: The deadline to sign up for health insurance through the marketplace is Dec 15. Plans provide coverage established through the Affordable Care Act also known as “Obamacare.” GPB’s Ellen Eldridge reports.
If you don't have health insurance, now is the time to look for a plan that suits your needs on the Healthcare.gov marketplace. The open enrollment deadline to secure coverage by the first of the new year is Friday, Dec. 15.
Those who choose a plan and enroll after Dec. 15 will have coverage beginning in February.
These are the plans associated with the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," that are available on the Healthcare.gov website along with information about financial assistance and whether you qualify for low-cost or no-cost coverage.
The Biden administration's expansion of premium tax credits and an historic investment in the insurance navigator program means there is free help available to find the best health insurance.
Thanks to the new measures passed in the Inflation Reduction Act last year, 80% of Georgians can find coverage for $10 or less per month, U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams said.
"The Inflation Reduction Act is just a fancy way of saying that we're lowering costs and putting more money in your pockets," she said. "Y'all, the IRA saves people money in all kinds of ways, including with health care coverage."
Georgians are saving $488.78 on monthly health insurance premiums, she said.
"And yeah, I wanted to get it down to the penny because I know that as my 8-year-old is making his Christmas list, I am pinching every penny," the congresswoman said. "So every cent counts."
Insurance navigators are available in Georgia to help people find the best health care plan for their needs.
Deanna Williams, a health insurance navigator with Georgians for a Healthy Future, said she can reach out on behalf of someone to speak with insurance brokers and agents.
These are local, certified application counselors and navigators who are trained to help Georgians — at no cost — explore their health insurance options.
"Whether they want a specific hospital or a specific doctor, we're just making sure that they still get the coverage that's catered to their health needs," Deanna Williams said.
Depending on income, families may qualify for coverage through Medicaid or PeachCare.
Due to Georgia's transition to the state-based marketplace, Pathways to Coverage, the assistors are no longer listed on healthcare.gov, but you can still gain access to the network by visiting the Georgiaaccess.gov site.
Click the dropdown arrow to find assistance and select "find local assistors" to find help in your county.
All the marketplace plans cover benefits that you need, including prescription drugs, emergency services and lab work, Williams said, noting that preventative health services are also covered by all available plans.
"We all know it's flu season, so please get your flu shot," she said.
People with pre-existing conditions are also eligible for coverage.
"One of the questions I get all the time is, 'I have diabetes, so I didn't know if I could get it,'" Williams said. "Yes. OK. Yes, you can still get coverage. And I'm here to help you get that coverage."
Individuals can enroll or re-enroll in health insurance coverage and find help enrolling or re-enrolling for 2024 by visiting healthcare.gov or cuidadodesalud.gov. The 800 number to find help is (800) 318-2596.