29 Nov 2018

Does Georgia Participate in Obamacare?

Does Georgia Participate in Obamacare?

If you are a resident of the Peach state, you are still eligible to enroll in Obamacare. However, in 2017, Georgia had five health care exchanges that people could choose from to find the best plan for them and their families. This all changed at the beginning of 2018, as one of the exchanges opted not to return  (Humana) leaving Georgia with four health care exchanges serving the 159 counties in Georgia. That decision had nothing to do with the state of Georgia. Every year many states experience some type of fluctuation with exchanges opting in and out of their states.

What Are the Names of These Georgia Health Care Exchanges?

Each year, the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) runs from November 1 to December 15. During this time, you can make changes. Any plan selected, or changes made to a plan will take effect on January 1. The exchanges that are still in the state of Georgia are Alliant, Ambetter (Peach State Health Plan), Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Georgia, and Kaiser.

Fast Facts:

  • Humana exiting the state of Georgia back in 2017 was not unexpected. Of the other four health exchanges in the state, Humana was the one that had experienced the largest percentage of rate increases.
  • Alliant has many plans in the state of Georgia, but these plans are mostly available in northern Georgia. They serve 28 counties.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia almost had to pull out of the state of Georgia. But an agreement was reached with the Georgia Insurance Commissioner, that would cover up to 85 counties in the state of Georgia. With the new agreement in place, BCBS filed plans to offer coverage statewide in 2018.
  • Ambetter serves 24 counties in Georgia and adding more each year.
  • Kaiser currently serves 31 counties.

 Georgia Health Care Exchange vs.Trump Administration

There has been lots of talk about Obamacare/ACA, which has left a lot of uncertainty for millions of people. However, nothing has changed for the time being in 2018. If you qualify, subsidies are still available; coverage is still guaranteed even if pre-existing conditions are present.

With that said, the GOP was able to repeal the tax penalty, but this change will not occur until 2019. There are still a few things to pay attention to as 2019 approaches. For the rest of 2018, individuals who have gone uninsured in 2018 will still be subject to a penalty. That fee will be assessed on their tax returns in 2019. Of course, this will not be the case if someone already had special exemptions in place.

Earlier in 2018, the House of Representatives added some amendments to the American Health Care Act (AHCA). These changes were created with the idea of winning over representatives from both the conservative and the moderate side who have been reluctant to amend. The bill is already with the Senate and waiting to be deliberated on.

As for the Trump Administration, stability over the individual health insurance market has been a concern for consumers. Some cost-sharing reductions were eliminated, thus, resulting in higher premiums paid in 2018.

As for Georgia, and its GOP leadership, they put together a task force devoted to having a response ready for the next big health care change that will affect Georgians in 2019. The task force already met in early March

As a result of Obamacare, more than 600,000 people in Georgia gained health care coverage. With that said, there are still about 240,000 Georgians who are stuck in a coverage gap. In order for these people to get out of their dire situations, more changes will be necessary in healthcare within the state of Georgia for 2019.

What Qualifies as Coverage in Georgia?

As mentioned before, the tax penalties are going away, but not until 2019. Until then, the best way to avoid a penalty that will have to be paid back through your federal taxes is to have health care coverage in place.

If you have any of the coverages below, you will not be required to pay the penalty in 2019.

  • Health care coverage gained from the Peace Corps
  • TRICARE coverage
  • CHIP, Medicaid or Medicare coverage
  • An individual plan through the Georgia exchange
  • Health care insurance from your employer

To learn more about enrolling in Medicare, and which Georgia exchange could work better for you, contact the professionals at HealthQuoteInfo.com at (855) 614-5057. Our licensed insurance experts will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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