Affordable Health Care in Georgia Doesn’t Exist in Albany

If you live in southwest Georgia and want affordable health care you are out of luck. The Albany area, served by Phoebe Putney hospitals, has some of the highest prices in the nation. This means Albany are residents pay more for their Obamacare health insurance than just about anyone else.            affordable health care in albany georgia

But wait. It get’s worse.

If you have a Blue Cross #Obamacare plan, Phoebe Putney is not in their HMO network. In fact, there are no BCBSGA participating hospitals within 100 miles of Albany, Georgia. Blue Cross charges more than most other carriers for a similar plan and gives you fewer hospitals.

How do you save money on your health insurance premiums and still have affordable health care in southwest Georgia? We have a solution but you need to understand why health care in Albany is so expensive.

A report from Kaiser Health News details the high cost of affordable care in southwest Georgia and points the blame clearly at Phoebe Putney hospital. But first a little background on their research.

If Lee Mullins lived in Pittsburgh, he could buy mid-level health coverage for his family for $940 a month. If he lived in Beverly Hills, he would pay $1,405.

But Mullins, who builds custom swimming pools, lives in Southwest Georgia. Here, a similar health plan for his family of four costs $2,654 a month.

This largely agrarian pocket of Georgia, where peanuts and pecans are major crops and hunters bag alligators up to 10 feet long, is nearly the most expensive place in the nation to buy health insurance through the new online marketplaces created by the federal health law. The only place with higher premiums are the Colorado mountain resort areas around Aspen and Vail, a high-cost-of-living area unlike Georgia.

The report, while interesting, misses the mark.

Yes, health insurance is high there, partly because of Phoebe Putney, and partially because of Obamacare. But you have options if you want more affordable health insurance coverage and you want to have access to Phoebe Putney hospitals and doctors.

All the dynamics that drive up health costs have coalesced here in Southwest Georgia, pushing up premiums.  Expensive chronic conditions such as obesity and cancer are common among the quarter million people in this region. One hospital system dominates the area, leaving little competition. Only one insurer is offering policies in the online marketplace, and many physicians are not participating, limiting consumer choice.

If want to buy your health insurance on the Obamacare exchange, your only choice is Blue Cross of Georgia.

But if you buy OFF the exchange you have more choices. Georgia Insurance Shop offers consumers in Lee and Dougherty county and surrounding areas several approved ACA health insurance plans that include Phoebe Putney in their network. When you look for affordable health care in Albany you have to know where to shop and compare ACA health insurance options.

We have several health insurance plans with broader networks and much lower premiums than BCBSGA. The Kaiser article implies you don’t have options, but in fact you have several choices. But you need to hurry. Your last chance to sign up for a health insurance plan, or make a change in March 31, 2014. After that your next open enrollment is November, 15.

I bet you didn’t know about that Obamacare requirement. The government considers that a feature, not a bug.

You can have affordable health care in southwest Georgia but you have to think beyond Blue Cross. Click now to find health insurance plans in your area.