Obamacare in Georgia

Health Insurance Marketplace in Georgia

If you live in Georgia, you’ll use this website, HealthCare.gov, to apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll. Spanish language speakers can contact cuidadodesalud.gov. Specific plans and prices will be available on October 1, 2013, when Marketplace open enrollment begins. Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2014.

Choosing the Right Health Insurance Plan

There are 5 categories of Marketplace insurance plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Catastrophic.

Plans range from bare bones “bronze” plans which cover 60% of pocket medical costs to “platinum” plans which have greater coverage but come with higher premiums. In general higher premiums mean lower out-of-pocket costs and a wider insurer network of doctors and hospitals.The plans are as listed below:

NOTE: All cost sharing is of out of pocket costs. Please see ObamaCare health benefits for services that are covered at no out of pocket charge on all plans. The maximum out-of-pocket costs for any Marketplace plan for 2014 are $6,350 for an individual plan and $12,700 for a family plan.

Bronze Plan: The bronze plan is the lowest cost plan available. It has the lowest premiums and in exchange has the lowest actuarial value. The actuarial value of a bronze plan is 60%. This means that 60% of medical costs are paid for by the insurance company, leaving the other 40% to be paid by you.

Silver Plan: The Silver plan is the second lowest cost plan, it has an actuarial value of 70%. This means that 70% of medical costs are paid for by the insurance company, leaving the other 30% to be paid by you. The Silver plan is the standard choice for most reasonably healthy families who historically use medical services.

Gold Plan: The Gold plan is the second most expensive plan, it has an actuarial value of 80%. This means that 80% of medical costs are paid for by the insurance company, leaving the other 20% to be paid by you.

Platinum Plan: The Platinum plan is the plan with the highest premiums offered on the insurance exchange. The Platinum plan as an actuarial value of 90%. This means that 90% of medical costs are paid for by the insurance company, leaving the other 10% to be paid by you. This plan is suggested to those with high incomes and those in poor health. Although coverage is more expensive up front the 90% coverage of costs will help those who use medical services frequently.

Catastrophic plans – which have very high deductibles and essentially provide protection from worst-case scenarios, like a serious accident or extended illness — are available to people under 30 years old and to people who have hardship exemptions from the fee that most people without health coverage must pay.

Expanded Medicaid

Georgia has not chosen to expand its Medicaid program at this time. Read “What if my state isn’t expanding Medicaid?” to learn more. You can find out whether you qualify for Medicaid under Georgia’s current rules 2 ways: Contact your state Medicaid agency right now or fill out an application for coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Who can help you (the Navigators)

Get local help

Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation

Seedco, a national organization helping low-income households and communities move toward economic prosperity since 1987, will act as lead agency for a consortium of partners in each state and oversee all aspects of the proposed program, providing technical assistance, financial oversight, compliance protocols, and partner facilitation. Seedco and its partners will support the activities of Navigators in Georgia and Tennessee, many of whom will be roving.

University of Georgia

The University of Georgia’s College of Family and Consumer Sciences and Cooperative Extension Service (UGA CES) plans to place navigators in several offices outside the Atlanta metro region. UGA CES plans to create awareness through community workshops, engage a network of existing partners to reach uninsured Georgia residents and provide direct services to consumers seeking assistance.

Who you can contact for more help

Information for:

Individuals and Families

Small businesses

If you need more detailed analysis, identification of issues, solutions, and implementation of your health insurance plan please let us know  with the form below and we’ll get right back to you.

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Accountable Care Organizations in Georgia

ACOs are profit-driven health innovators primarily serving Medicare patients who are financially rewarded by the government and private insurance companies for delivering medical services that lead to better health outcomes for less money.

Health care facilities where Innovation Models are being tested

The Insurance Exchange/Marketplace

What has been done, not been done, or left up to the federal government to do.

Establishing the Exchange in Georgia

On November 16, 2012, Governor Nathan Deal (R) announced that the Georgia had stopped planning for an exchange.1 In the previous year Governor Deal issued an Executive Order to create the Georgia Health Exchange Advisory Committee to assess whether and how Georgia should establish a health benefit exchange.2 The 25-member Committee included state officials, insurers, brokers, business representatives, consumers, and providers.3 The Committee also formed subgroups to develop recommendations on governance, operations and finance, and insurance markets. In October 2011, the subgroups released reports that included recommendations to establish a ‘Georgia Health Insurance Marketplace Authority’ as a quasi-governmental, non-profit corporation with a single governing body that maintains two separate risk pools for businesses and individual consumers.4,5,6 In December 2011, the Committee submitted final recommendations to the Governor in support of creating a small business health insurance marketplace through a wholly private or limited quasi-governmental entity, but did not commit to building an individual exchange.7

Essential Health Benefits (EHB): The ACA requires that all non-grandfathered individual and small-group plans sold in a state, including those offered through the Exchange, cover certain defined health benefits. Since Georgia did not put forward a recommendation, the state’s benchmark EHB plan will default to the largest small-group plan in the state, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia- HMO Urgent Care 60 Copay.

Exchange Funding

The Georgia State Office of Planning and Budget received a federal Exchange Planning grant of $1 million in 2010.

Expansion of Medicaid

From 2014 to 2017, the federal government will pay for 100% of the difference between a state’s current Medicaid eligibility level and the ACA minimum. Federal contributions to the expansion will drop to 95% in 2017 and remain at 90% after 2020, according to the ACA.

As the ACA was originally written, states would lose all Medicaid funding if they refused to expand their program to the ACA minimum.

However, the Supreme Court in June 2012 ruled that the federal government could not withhold Medicaid funding for states that chose not to expand their programs. The decision effectively allowed state officials to opt out of the expansion, and some have said they will do just that.

Georgia is not participating in Medicaid expansion.

Next Steps

The federal government will assume full responsibility for running a health insurance exchange in Georgia beginning in 2014.

 


 

1. Press release from Governor Nathan Deal. “Georgia Will Not Set Up Exchange.” November 16, 2012.http://gov.georgia.gov/press-releases/2012-11-16/deal-georgia-will-not-set-state-exchange
2. Executive Order issued on June 2, 2011.http://gov.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_1210/21/41/17217485106_02_11_01.pdf
3. Georgia’s 2011 Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee Appointees.http://healthcarereform.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_1210/15/45/173596255Advisory%20Committee%20Appointees%20-%20Updated%20072111.pdf
4. Georgia Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee Governance Subcommittee Presentation. October 27, 2011.http://healthcarereform.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_1210/42/42/178821132Governance%20Subcommittee%20Presentation.pdf
5. Insurance Markets Subcommittee Report for the Georgia Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee. October 27, 2011.http://healthcarereform.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_1210/42/41/178821134Insurance%20Markets%20Subcommittee%20Report.pdf
6. Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee Operations and Finance Subcommittee. October 27, 2011.http://healthcarereform.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_1210/42/40/178821136Operations%20%20Finance%20Subcommittee%20Report.pdf
7. Report to the Governor. Georgia Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee. December 15, 2011.http://healthcarereform.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_1210/28/4/179765813GHIX%20Final%20Report%20to%20the%20Governor.pdf

Also of interest

Provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation