Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is already underway, and ends on Jan. 15.
More than 1.3 million Georgians do not have health coverage according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Richard Gordon, an independent insurance broker, said it is time to do some research, and find out what your options are. His is one of many small businesses offering community outreach events to help people to sign up for coverage online.
Gordon explained some health plans are more affordable, as Congress extended subsidies to bring down monthly premiums.
“We try to explain what the Affordable Care Act is, how you can qualify for tax-credit subsidies to help pay for insurance, as well as provide some instant quotes for people,” Gordon outlined. “They can actually see how affordable it can be, based on their family size, their income, and the ZIP code that they live in.”
The Inflation Reduction Act passed by Congress extended the premium subsidies through 2025.
Gordon noted all health care plans are considered “major medical” plans, which means they cover hospitalization, doctor’s visits, lab work, imaging, and preventive services. He added some insurers this year have “zero-premium” plans, which means the government subsidy covers the total monthly cost.
“A lot of the plans have low co-payments for the primary care doctor visit and a specialist doctor visit,” Gordon pointed out. “We explain to people that their preventative services are provided at no cost to them. So that will be their annual physical, mammograms, colonoscopy, cervical cancer screenings.”
He emphasized screenings for diabetes and outpatient surgeries are also covered, but only a few health plans offer dental and vision coverage, so people often buy those as stand-alone policies. He recommended doing some homework now, as the enrollment deadline is seven weeks away.
This story was written by Danielle Smith, a producer at Public News Service, where this story first appeared.