Open enrollment underway on Georgia's marketplace for Affordable Care Act insurance

The Georgia state Capitol in downtown Atlanta. (Matthew Pearson/WABE)

Georgia officials are urging everyone without health insurance in the state to take advantage of the Georgia Access website during this year’s open enrollment period.

Earlier this year, Georgia Access launched a transition to a state-based marketplace for individual health insurance. Open enrollment continues through Jan. 15. You can see important enrollment deadlines here.

Georgia Access provides information on plan options, networks and tools to compare prices. It also links to, the federal Affordable Care Act marketplace, which Gov. Brian Kemp has previously sought to block in favor of diverting shoppers to private broker and insurance company sites.

State Insurance Commissioner John King said Georgia Access offers federally compliant insurance plans. He called it a good step for the state.    

“We have a responsibility to cover Georgians, of going and providing that marketplace for Georgians to get access to health insurance,” he said. “And we understand Georgia better than the federal government does.”

Georgia Access has been the subject of several years of political battles.

The Trump administration had approved Kemp’s model to move forward. The Biden administration then suspended it, asking state officials for more information. 

“Ultimately, the ACA was designed as a stopgap for all states. But the original plan was always for states to do this,” said King. 

Kemp’s plan originally included the ability for insurers to offer policies complying with the minimum health coverage mandates under the ACA, while also offering plans with lesser coverage. The state later agreed to offer only federally approved policies.

“And I think the passage of the bill last year, which helps us to set up Georgia Access, we will be able to reach out and touch more Georgians and get more Georgians insured,” said Georgia State Rep. Eddie Lumsden, the chair of the State House Insurance committee who sponsored legislation to establish the state exchange.

Georgia’s marketplace has cost the state more than $31 million, administration officials said earlier this year. 

This year’s open enrollment offers additional financial subsidies to help make insurance premiums more affordable per month. 

Nationally, more than 16 million people signed up for a 2023 individual market health insurance plan during the last open-enrollment period, according to the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

That includes 879,084 Georgians who enrolled in coverage using