Insurance exchanges open for Georgia residents

FOX Medical Team

Insurance exchanges open for Georgia residents

Posted: Updated:
EAST POINT, Ga. -

Thousands of Georgians can now find out how much they're going to have to pay for health insurance. The online exchange for the state's residents formally opened on Tuesday.

Those that don't have coverage have six months to sign up for a plan.  People who need help may have to be patient because application navigators are few and far between in Georgia.

Several people turned out an Enroll America meeting held at the East Point branch of the Fulton County library to figure out what to do.

Taprine Powell attended the meeting is search of answers. She has health insurance, but says her father, who is 60 and suffering from liver disease does not, and it's weighing heavily on her.

"Because right now I have my dad sick, my mom just passed and my grandmother is sick, too, so I have a lot," Powell said.

Insurance navigators Thaddeus Dortch and Marcus Jordan, of Family Health Centers of Georgia, say they know a lot of people are feeling confused.

"We had about five or six calls this morning, and they're just trying to figure out, ‘What to do, how to do it, what am I qualified for,'" said Dortch. ‘I just let them know, you have time, you don't have to rush to do it now. It's a process."

To start the process and find out your options, go to healthcare.gov.

"But if you have insurance now, you're good.  If you have employee insurance, you're good. If you have Medicaid, Medicare, you're good," Jordan said.

If you need one-on-one help, healthcare.gov lists 35 organizations in Atlanta offering application assistance.

A spokesman for Georgia's insurance commissioner said that as of Tuesday morning, only four navigators had actually passed the state's licensing requirements and another 23 were waiting on required background checks.

Jordan said that once the program gets up and running, a navigator can help you explore your choices.
 
If you want help right away, healthcare.gov has a toll-free hotline at 1-800-318-2596 and a live chat option online.

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