Final month for ACA health insurance enrollment

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to show the national phone number for Healthsherpa.com.

There is one month left to select 2022 Affordable Care Act health insurance plans. And those who select them starting Thursday, December 16 will have to wait until February 1 for coverage to start.

Plans for 2022 coverage can still be selected through Jan. 15, 2022: The catch is, anyone who selects a plan on Dec. 16 or later won’t have coverage until February 1. Plans that start providing coverage January 1, 2022 had to be selected by December 15.

Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act exchange market, also called Obamacare, has been brisk this year. Plans on average are less expensive than last year. And more will qualify for subsidies after the federal American Rescue Plan Act that Congress enacted in March broadened subsidies to people with higher incomes.

The Biden administration has put extra money into providing help with open enrollment, such as “navigators” who can help people sign up for ACA coverage, or guide them to other federally funded coverage like Medicaid if they qualify.

Below are some of those resources in Georgia.

RESOURCES

Healthcare.gov

1-800-318-2596

TTY: 1-855-889-4325

This is the main federal shopping website for ACA plans. It allows you to input your expected income level, family size and ZIP code, and then gives you plans and prices you’re eligible for. It presents them together in order to contrast and compare. It allows shoppers to check if their doctor or hospital is currently in the plan’s coverage network.

Healthsherpa.com

1-855-772-2663

This is a privately run website that does most of the things Healthcare.gov does. Some agents and shoppers say it’s easier to use.

InsureGA.org

1-866-988-8246

Insure Georgia was originally a navigator organization, but lost all that funding under the Trump administration. It is now registered as a nonprofit insurance agent, and continues helping people sign up for ACA plans. It’s based in Macon and helps people across the state.

NAVIGATORS

Navigators not only help people sign up for ACA plans, but can help a person understand if they’re eligible for Medicaid or Medicare. The funding numbers reflects the federal dollars spent to ensure each navigator is staffed and ready to answer consumer’s calls.

The Georgia Association for Primary Health Care (GAPHC)

1-844-442-7421

Federal navigator funding: $1.9 million

Works statewide. A network of federally funded clinics, this group pledged to focus on underserved populations across the state and those with restricted access to insurance, and to host public forums and health fairs and air radio ads.

Georgia Legal Services Program (Georgia ENROLL)

1-866-442-3676

Federal navigator funding: $388,248

Works in the 45 rural Georgia counties with the highest uninsured rates. The organization has experience helping people navigate legal difficulties with Medicaid, and is targeting vulnerable populations for assistance.

St. Joseph’s Mercy Care Services

678-843-8527

Federal navigator funding: $206,722

Working in DeKalb and Fulton counties. Assisting people experiencing homelessness, marginally housed, and low-income individuals.