Happy Holidays from GHF and GEAR

Happy Holidays from Georgians for a Healthy Future and GEAR

Congratulations on making it past the December 15th deadline (which really turned out to be the December 17th deadline)! We know it has been a crazy few days for all of the enrollment assisters, so we wanted to spread some holiday cheer. Watch our video below!


Five Facts for Consumers about the Fee for Not Having Health Coverage

No one likes to talk about the fee for not having health insurance, but since the 2016 penalty will be so large, it’s going to be a major motivator for consumer’s (Pro tip: Use the term “fee” instead of “penalty” – it resonates better with consumers).

Here are 5 facts about the fee that consumers need to know:

  1. The fee is calculated 2 ways, depending on the consumers situation – If a consumer goes for more than three months without coverage despite having access to affordable coverage (from their job, the Marketplace, Medicaid, Medicare, or purchased on their own) they will have to pay a fee of 2.5% of their annual income or $695 dollars. They will have to pay whichever is they higher of those two amounts, and for most it will be 2.5% of their annual income.
  2. The fee for 2016 is increasing – as noted above. Some consumers that were on the fence about enrolling the first two years decided to take the fee because it was more affordable than enrolling in coverage. That is not likely going to be the case this year because the fee is so much larger.
  3. Every month without coverage counts – The fee is calculated based on the number of months (over 3) that you went without coverage, up to the maximum fee.
  4. Some people can get an exemption from the fee – people that are unable to get a subsidy because their income is too low are exempt from the fee. Also exempt are people that are not legally in the country, people in jail, and people that went less than 3 months without coverage. Click here  for the exemption tool from healthcare.gov.
  5. If they want to avoid the fee, they need to enroll by January 31st, 2016 – CMS has released a statement that the deadline will not be extended and the SEP that was available for the April 15th tax deadline will not be available this year. So make sure your consumers know that January 31st is the LAST DAY TO ENROLL!

Important note: the maximum fee a consumer will have to pay is capped at the total yearly premium for the national average price of a Bronze plan sold through the Marketplace.

Source: CMS Blog


Cover_ImageResource Highlights: Hard Copies of the Spanish Enrollment Toolkit and Health Insurance User’s Manual

We have hard copies of our Spanish version of the Enrollment Toolkit Health Insurance User’s Manual. We have a limited amount of hard copies, but the electronic versions are available on the GEAR website. Email Whitney if you are interested in receiving hard copies.


penaltiesPenalties and Exemption Fact Sheet

Speaking of the fee, need help explaining the fee to consumers? Or want to walk someone through whether or not they will need to pay the fee? Check out GHF’s “Penalties and Exemptions” tool.


New Marketplace Resources

Updated Functionality for Immigrants Below 100% FPL


Health Insurance Literacy Resources

In the Loop

Questions to Help Consumers Choose the Right Plans

Families USA



The Deadline is Coming!

T2016he Deadline is Coming!

As you all know the December 15th deadline for January 1 coverage is quickly approaching. If you or your organization is active on social media, now is a great time to send out reminders for the deadline. It’s especially important to remind consumers that already have coverage that now is the time to shop around before they are automatically re-enrolled in the same plan from last year, which is likely to have a higher premium. Need some ideas for social media posts? Check out these social media graphics from HHS.




billboardShow Us How You’re Doing Outreach!

Georgians for a Healthy Future is collecting pictures, graphics, social media posts, etc from organizations on how they are doing outreach. Pictures could include billboards (like this one from SRA), signs you have posted out in front of your building, or anything related to how you are getting the word out about your enrollment activities. You can send your pictures or posts to Whitney.

Join Us for the Bi-Weekly Enrollment Stakeholder Call

Every other Thursday GHF and Enroll America host the enrollment stakeholder call. Attendees include HHS, Navigator grantees, and other enrollment stakeholders throughout the state. The calls are a great opportunity to learn about the work that other groups are doing and let the groups know about any events your organization has coming up. The next call will be on Thursday, December 17th at 1 pm. Click here to register for the call. 

enrollNational Resource Highlight –

Enroll America’s Six Things You Can Learn about the Uninsured Landscape in Your State

How has the uninsured landscape in Georgia changed since the Marketplace opened two years ago? Enroll America recently published individual data profiles for all 50 states and D.C. to provide enrollment assisters with the latest information on the remaining uninsured in their state. The profiles are full of data, so click here to understand more about what all that data means.

New Marketplace Resources

Health Reform Beyond the Basics, OE3 Webinar Series Recordings 

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Marketplace Enrollment Snapshots Week 3 of Open Enrollment


Fast Facts on Assisting Consumers Who are Immigrants (Now available in 19 languages) 


Do you have any resources that you use that you would like to see highlighted in GEAR? Send them to Whitney and let us know!



Week 5 of Open Enrollment!

The GEAR team hopes that everyone had a happy Thanksgiving and enjoyed a slight respite from the frenzy of Open Enrollment. We are now on the 5th week of Open Enrollment and it sounds like there is still a lot of interest from consumers looking to re-enroll in a plan from last year or shop around to see if they can find a new plan.

Save the Date: Join Us for a Webinar with FamiliesUSA

Families-USAFamiliesUSA will be hosting a webinar on best practices for post enrollment follow-up on December 10th at 2pm. It will be a great opportunity to learn about what enrollment assisters from around the country are doing to follow-up with consumers after they enroll. The webinar will also include a presentation from Whitney Griggs from Georgians for a Healthy Future and Jamila Young from Grady Health System. Use this link to register.



We Have Some Homework for You (Don’t worry, it’s just for fun)!

If you attended the Getting and Keeping Georgia Covered event in October, you may remember this from Don Rubin’s presentation on health literacy. We have two separate activities to help you think through ways to be more health literacy-friendly. If you complete both activities and send them to Whitney by the end of the week (December 5), we’ll send you a prize!

•  Activity 1: Think Outside The Box
•  Activity 2: Draw This  

Enroll-AmericaNational Resource Highlight – Enroll America’s Get Covered Plan Explorer

Enroll America’s new free resource, the Get Covered Plan Explorer, allows consumers to find a health plan that fits their health care needs and their budget as well.

New Marketplace Resources

Five Facts about PII (Personally Identifiable Information)
In the Loop

Supporting Enrollment Needs for People Living with HIV

Webinar: Overview of Immigrant Eligibility Policies and Application Processes for Health Insurance Affordability Programs
Healthcare Reform Beyond the Basics, CBPP

Do you have any resources that you use that you would like to see highlighted in GEAR? Send them to wgriggs@healthyfuture.org and let us know!