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State Insurance Commissioner John King also pointed out in a news release that employees who are laid off are allowed to buy continued insurance, under the federal COBRA health insurance law and a similar state law. That applies only to some employees of larger employers, who were let go for reasons other than gross misconduct.
The benefit of ACA coverage is lower-priced policies for those who qualify.
The ACA coverage comes with subsidies, based on the policyholder’s annual income, that mean lower premium prices.
The biggest subsidies go to those making at or just over the federal poverty level, or $12,490 for a one-person household. Those people can get policies that are so heavily subsidized they are free or almost free.
The subsidies wane as incomes climb, up to 400% of the federal poverty level, or a total of $49,960 for a one-person household. At incomes higher than that, the consumer pays full price for the policy.
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For those with the lowest incomes, below the federal poverty level, options are fewer. Medicaid, which covers the poor population in most states, does not cover all the poor in Georgia. Georgia children are generally eligible, though, as are people who have a government designation of being disabled.
Special enrollment periods apply to people who lost insurance. They don’t apply to people who lost healthshare coverage, as that isn’t insurance.
One thing to note: People who get a free plan because they just got laid off and predict very low income for 2020 need to keep track of what they end up making throughout the year and adjust their policy accordingly. If they get rehired and end up with a very large income that didn’t qualify for the federal subsidies, then come tax time they will owe all those subsidies back to the Internal Revenue Service.
WHERE TO FIND PRICES
This is the federal website and phone bank for enrolling in Affordable Care Act exchange plans.
A nonprofit health insurance agency that started out as an ACA navigator organization. Also has information on whether people are a good fit for Medicaid or Medicare.
A privately run website that presents ACA plans in a way some agents find easier to navigate than the federal site.
Some insurance agents are willing to enroll clients in ACA plans. Lists of them can be found on the healthcare.gov website.