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The Affordable Care Act in Georgia

enrollment kickoff

health insurance marketplace

Obamacare, Take 2: new marketplace opens

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An estimated 150,000 to 200,000 Georgians are expected to shop on Obamacare's online insurance marketplace during its second open enrollment period.

HealthCare.gov suffered a disastrous launch last year plagued by near-daily website crashes that left consumers unable to complete applicants. But federal officials say the revamped website should be a much smoother and easier experience for people the second time around, though not completely glitch-free.

Nearly 317,000 Georgians signed up for health insurance through the marketplace last year. Nationwide, roughly 8 million Americans selected marketplace plans. Such successes notwithstanding, Obamacare opponents maintain that the law is too intrusive and is driving up costs for everyone.

But although critics predicted the early demise of the federal marketplace, experts say it appears to be working the way it was intended and is around to stay.

HealthCare.gov troubles

virginia anderson

Healthcare writer shares her Obamacare misadventures

With the Health Insurance Marketplace starting its second open enrollment period on Saturday, freelance writer Virginia Anderson talks about her recent misadventures with the marketplace.

After last year’s disastrous launch, government officials now say upgrades will make HealthCare.gov run more smoothly this time around.

Still, insurers, consumers and others are bracing for a bumpy ride.

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Voices of health care

ellen wall

Georgians share their Obamacare experiences

A year ago, as the Obama administration prepared to roll out its new health care marketplace, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution profiled 20 people on how the advent of Obamacare would affect them.

Some were uninsured, some held individual-market policies, some were business owners considering whether to cover their employees.

As the second open enrollment period commences, we’ve returned to several of those people to see what’s happened with them and their health care. We feature four today with wildly different experiences.

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Marketplace primer

open enrollment

Obamacare: need to know

Created by the Affordable Care Act, the online Health Insurance Marketplace where people can shop for health coverage offered by private insurance companies.

Nine insurance companies are offering health plans on the marketplace, at HealthCare.gov, for 2015. Consumers can also learn on the site whether they qualify for federal tax credits or government insurance.

Read on to learn some of the basics you should know about the marketplace.

interactive

obamacare interactive

How will the ACA affect me?

The Affordable Care Act is massive, often confusing and downright overwhelming.

So we've created an interactive tool that walks you through the law whether you have insurance through an employer, buy your own, are covered by the government, or have no insurance at all.

Read on to learn more about the ACA may impact you.

ACA POLL

Health Insurance Marketplace

Obamacare at lowest approval rating, Gallup poll says

Americans’ approval of the Affordable Care Act is at its lowest point since the law passed in 2010, a Gallup poll released today finds.

Disapproval stands now at 56 percent – new high – the Gallup organization said. Approval is at 37 percent.

The numbers arrive as Obamacare’s second open-enrollment period opens and two weeks after the midterm election, in which Republicans won control of Congress.


Obamacare in Atlanta

jimmie peterson

How will uninsured in Georgia cope

About one in five Georgians doesn't have health insurance -- one of the highest rates in the country.

The Affordable Care Act was designed to reach these very people in one of two ways: the sale of private coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace combined with a greatly expanded Medicaid program. But Georgia decided not to expand Medicaid, which will mean that hundreds of thousands of people remain without coverage.

Many uninsured will continue to do what they’ve done for years: live without health care until a condition turns into an emergency and forces a trip to the ER.

» Read more stories from our Voices of Health Care series

Uninsured rate

uninsured

Georgia uninsured rate stays high

Roughly 1.8 million Georgians under the age of 65 are uninsured, according to a recent Gallup poll. And that number has remained stubbornly large despite the Affordable Care Act and the launch of its Health Insurance Marketplace last year.

That’s in large part because the state opted not to expand Medicaid, the government health program for the poor. And most of the nearly 317,000 Georgians who signed up for marketplace coverage in its first year already had insurance.

marketplace plans

covered

New prices, options for Obamacare consumers

A plan to automatically re-enroll thousands of Georgians in health plans they bought through the federal insurance marketplace for 2014 may allow some to happily avoid the government’s website when open enrollment starts next month.

But those who stay the course instead of taking the time to sift through new coverage options for 2015 could end up paying more for their current plans. That’s because new health plans and prices to choose from will almost certainly change the size of federal tax credits consumers can qualify for to help shrink their monthly premiums.


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