The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to extend health insurance coverage to the millions of Americans that do not have employer-provided health insurance.
Since its inception in 2010, ObamaCare has reduced financial risk for unexpected medical expenses for millions of uninsured people across the United States.
The ACA guarantees basic health coverage making medical care available to Americans across all states, regardless of income level and condition of health.
While all states are subject to certain aspects of the ACA, the availability and cost of ACA-compliant health plans may differ from state to state. Providers and plan options vary depending on regional populations and demographics.
Overview of Obamacare: Georgia
Under the ACA, individual states may set up their own exchanges for health insurance. Georgia does not run its own state-based health insurance exchange but uses the federally-run health insurance site at HealthCare.gov.
You may have heard that Georgia was to stop using HealthCare.gov and use a network of online insurers to enroll people in health plans. While Georgia received approval from the Trump administration in 2020, the Biden administration suspended the approval in 2022.
The exchange is a platform on which you can see your options for different insurance providers and plans.
The number of enrollments through Georgia’s exchange reached a record high in 2022, with over seven hundred thousand people enrolling during the open enrollment period.
Obamacare is a law to ensure that health insurance is affordable to all Americans. It works by offering discounts in the form of tax credits on government-sponsored health insurance plans.
The ACA also expands the Medicaid assistance program by allowing states to lower the income requirements to qualify for Medicare coverage. Georgia is one of twelve states that opted not to adopt Medicaid expansion.
While aspects of the ACA may differ between states, the Act makes several provisions applicable across all states:
- ACA includes people who do not have workplace insurance and whose income is between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
- Insurers may not deny health insurance to people with preexisting medical conditions.
- Parents may keep children on their health insurance until age 26.
- Insurers may not drop patients from plans for any reason other than fraud.
All ACA insurance must cover ten essential health benefits. Coverage may vary from state to state. For example, there may be differences in the number of covered visits. Essential benefits are:
- Outpatient care
- Emergency services
- Hospitalization for overnight stays and surgery
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care. Includes childbirth and postnatal care.
- Pediatric services- include oral and vision care.
- Laboratory services
- Mental health and substance use disorder services
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (to help people recover skills after an injury)
- chronic disease management
The ACA also mandates evidence-based preventive health services without cost sharing or copays. There are specific preventative health benefits, including 27 preventative care benefits for women, 29 preventative care benefits for children, and 22 for adults.
Who Is Eligible For Obamacare?
While households with an income of between 100% to 400% of the federal poverty level benefit from special subsidies, Americans of any income level can sign up for Obamacare.
If you do not have health insurance through your employer or access to other affordable insurance, you can enroll for ObamaCare.
Non-US citizens of specific immigration status may also qualify for Obamacare. This includes:
- Non-immigrant status, including those with worker visas and student visas
- Lawful temporary resident
- Green card holder
- Immigrants paroled into the U.S
- Refugee or Asylee
- Battered spouse, child, and parent
- Victim of trafficking
- Member of a federally recognized Indian tribe or an American Indian born in Canada
You are not eligible for Obamacare if you are incarcerated, don’t file income tax, or if you are married and file separate taxes.
To qualify for Obamacare, you must sign up during each year’s open enrollment season.
How To Sign Up For ObamaCare In Georgia
Georgia Obamacare enrollment starts on November 1, 2022, and ends on January 15, 2023. You must enroll before year-end if you want your coverage to begin at the beginning of January. After January 15, you can only register if you qualify for a special enrollment period.
From November 1, you can enroll, re-enroll, or change your health plan through HealthCare.gov or you can use a broker like Enhance Health.
You must enroll and pay your first premium by December 15, if you want your coverage to start on the first day of the new year. If you enroll or change plans between December 16 and January 15 and pay your first premium, your coverage will start on February 1.
To sign up for Obamacare in Georgia, you can enroll online or by phone or find agents, brokers, and assisters in your area.
You can also use a Health Insurance Carrier in Georgia that offers ACA plans – like Enhance Health Insurance.
The first step to signing up for Obamacare in Georgia is to confirm your eligibility. Ensure you have all the necessary documentation ready for a smooth sign-up process.
You may feel confused trying to determine if you are eligible for tax credits. Or you may feel overwhelmed by all the documentation you need to submit your application. In that case, you can give Enhance Health a call and chat with an agent.
Our agents know all the right questions to ask and what information is needed about your employment, income, and household size to find plans that you qualify for.
It is our job to explain the options available to you, how the metal tier systems work, and the costs of each plan. With all the correct information at your fingertips, choosing the plan that best fits your needs is easier.
Once you have decided which Obamacare plan is best for you, we will help you enroll and activate your policy.
What Do You Need To Sign Up For ObamaCare?
You will need the following information for everyone listed on your tax return, even if you are only applying for cover for yourself.
- Proof of identity, citizenship & Immigration documents, including Social Security numbers, green card, citizenship certificate, or refugee travel documents.
- Income Documents: including recent payroll records or recent W-2 forms covering at least the past four weeks, last year’s tax information, estimated incomes for this year
- Social Security benefit letter, Veterans Administration, retirement, pensions, unemployment insurance, and information on any other income you receive.
- Information about assets you own.
- Employers’ information – address and contact numbers.
The Affordable Care Act made healthcare insurance available to millions of Americans who previously could not afford coverage or were denied coverage due to preexisting medical conditions.
Obamacare is primarily for people who do not get insurance through their employer. Americans with a household income between one and four times the Federal Poverty Level may benefit from discounts on premiums in the form of tax credits.
Georgia does not have a state healthcare website. The state makes use of the national marketplace Healthcare.gov.
If you find many plans and options overwhelming, one of our licensed agents can guide you. At Enhance Health, we can determine your needs and suggest the best options clearly and understandably.