Health coverage enrollment blitz coming Wednesday in Macon

lmorris@macon.comDecember 16, 2013 

Middle Georgians who have questions about the new national health insurance plans or want help signing up will be able to get assistance in Macon this week.

Central Georgia Health System is holding a health care coverage enrollment blitz from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to a news release. The enrollment session will be held at Central Georgia Home Health at 3780 Eisenhower Parkway. Central Georgia Health System is the parent company for The Medical Center of Central Georgia.

The new Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, provides various health insurance options for individuals and families who don’t have access to health insurance at work.

Applicants must sign up by Dec. 23 to purchase coverage beginning Jan. 1. Open enrollment closes March 31.

A trained health insurance navigator and certified application counselors will be available Wednesday to help people find individual health care coverage on the Healthcare Marketplace Insurance Exchange that fits their budgets and meets their health care needs. Those attending will have the opportunity to ask questions and process their application for enrollment.

Peggy Boyles, assistance director of patient access for The Medical Center of Central Georgia, said Monday that since attendees are not required to preregister for the event, she is not sure how many people will attend. But she said the hospital has been getting requests for more information about the new health care law.

“We have also received information that very few Georgians have successfully enrolled in the marketplace exchanges, so we felt the need to provide this service,” Boyles said in an email. “Most people want to know how to enroll, what documents they need to complete the enrollment process, if they have any options when the website isn’t working and what will happen if they choose not to enroll.”

The hospital set up the event in a central location on a Macon bus route and one with plenty of parking to make it convenient for people, she said.

In Georgia, 1.7 million are uninsured and eligible for the new health insurance. But from Oct. 1 through Nov. 30, the federal exchange received just 61,443 completed applications from Georgians, according to Dec. 11 numbers from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Also, 6,859 people actually selected a plan, and 10,925 were eligible for Medicaid in the Peach State.

Nationally, about 1.83 million applications were received, 364,682 people enrolled in a plan and 803,077 were eligible for Medicaid.

Anyone attending the enrollment blitz this week should come prepared with a Social Security number (eligible immigrants may bring their document numbers); employer and income information for everyone in the family (for example, pay stubs, W-2 forms or wage and tax statements); policy numbers for any current health insurance; and information about any job-related health insurance that may be available, according to the release.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

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