Affordable Care Act open enrollment deadline approaching

Insurers said they are already starting to see an increase in enrollment.
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 6:51 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The Affordable Care Act open enrollment deadline is quickly approaching and insurers want to make sure you are covered.

The deadline is January 15 but insurers said they are already starting to see an increase in enrollment.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, over 800,000 Georgians so far have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces — including 3.1 million new enrollees overall — making this a 13 percent increase from the same time last year.

“For a long time, the cost of health insurance in Georgia was expensive because Georgia has one of the lowest insured rates in the nation,” Protector of Care Georgia Director Liz Ernst said. “And so that costs more when you have more uninsured people, if you’re insured, it costs more to have your insurance. Because overall the healthcare system is more costly.”

Before the Affordable Care Act, it was very difficult to get a health insurance plan if you were self-employed or had a small business that would cover a lot of the benefits that we now see with the Affordable Care Act, Ernst said.

Deanna Williams, a health insurance navigator with Georgians for a Healthy Future, said the act covers many things.

“For example, you get the cervical screenings, your Pap smears, your mammograms,” Williams said. “Those are things that are very important that you can get those preventative services covered at no out-of-pocket costs to you. If you take medication, you already- have to continue to have your medication. Not miss it because you don’t have health insurance and you’re not able to afford it.”

Affordable costs and more accessible healthcare are long terms goals for Georgia officials, Williams said.

Doctors at work.
Doctors at work.(Deanna Williams)

“We know with Georgia we have a new pathway waiver Medicaid program coming up,” Williams said. “It hasn’t taken effect just yet, but we’re hoping that will also help to cover some people who can’t afford to get their health insurance through the marketplace. And make sure that they can get the care that they need.”

Lower costs for health coverage also means more money for Georgia families.

“Families of four on average in Georgia can save about $5,000 a year on yearly premiums because of the measures in the Inflation Reduction Act,” Ernst said. “We’re seeing those premium extensions. And more Americans can save more money on their health insurance.”

“You have the option to sign up and do the application right away,” Williams said. “If you’re a little skeptical, you do have the option to use the quick tip guide to let you look at the plans and look at what your estimated cost will be before you log in.”

Please visit healthcare.gov to sign up.