Obamacare 2015 Rates – Georgia

Obamacare 2015 rates for Georgia are now live. A quick review of rates by ages and zip codes seems to indicate a replay of last year with Humana and Blue Cross dominating the field OFF the exchange.

 

Obamacare subsidies

There are no advantages to purchasing ON the exchange unless you are subsidy eligible. Taxpayer funded subsidies are scaled according to income and family size. For Georgia, in round figures, you may be eligible for a subsidy if are a household of one and your income is between $11,500 and $45,000.

For a family of two the income range is $15,500 and $62,000. A family of three may be eligible if their income ranges from $19,500 and $78,000. A four family group is looking at an income of $23,500 and $94,000.

The lower your income in that range the bigger the subsidy.

You can browse plans and rates by zip by following this link to healthcare.gov

This year you can “shop” rates without registering your information.

We are unable to assist you again in 2015 if you want a subsidized plan. We suggest you follow the link above or call 800-318-2596 for assistance.

 

Links to OFF exchange plans and rates

The quoting service we used for years became unreliable and very pricey so we decided to terminate that contract. Under the new arrangement, most people will only be able to buy or change plans for 2 months out of the year which makes paying 12 months for a service that is only usable for 2 months a bit unrealistic.

 

If you currently have Aetna, Assurant, Cigna or Coventry and are losing your coverage

you should consider the Humana POS/PPO plans below.

 

BCBSGA (Blue Cross Georgia) – click here to review plans and rates. You may also apply direct if you see a plan you like. Keep in mind that ALL Blue Cross 2015 rates are for HMO plans only. If you wish to apply for a plan make sure your doctor(s) are in the network. You may use this provider search link before you review plans if you wish. You can also check prescription drug lists to make sure your medications are included in the pharmacy benefit.

Click to view BCBSGA plans and 2015 rates

Humana One

Humana is also competitive for 2015 and offers a choice of HMO plans and PPO plans. Most people will prefer the broad NPOS (National Point of Service) network over the smaller HMO network which is only available in select zip codes. Use this link to review participating providers in the Humana networks. If you want to search the Humana drug formulary, use this link.

When quoting Humana plans you will see a green button on the left hand side that says FIND MEDICAL PLANS. Click it.

On the next page enter in your DOB and gender under APPLICANT. Do the same for spouse and children. Scroll down and click QUOTE NOW

On the following page click CONTINUE TO SHOP FOR INSURANCE

The next page will show you a summary of plans from the lowest premium to the highest. Consider only the POS/PPO plans and avoid the HMO options where available.

Silver plans will usually offer the best value.

Two plans, one with a $6300 integrated deductible and another with a $3650 integrated deductible are HSA qualified. Your maximum out of pocket is your deductible. Everything above the deductible is covered at 100%.

The other options include copay’s for doctor and Rx. Pay close attention to your maximum out of pocket. Even though they have lower deductibles than $6300 the Bronze and Silver plans have about the same maximum out of pocket as the $6300 deductible plan.

Gold and Platinum plans should only be considered if your regular medical expenses exceed around $1000 per month.

Call or email if you have questions.

Click to view Humana plans and 2015 rates

Humana One

Assurant is back and offering 2015 rates for Georgia. Their plans are a bit weaker and rates are considerably higher for 2015. They will have a good dental plan for those that want the ability to use any dentist. You can review Assurant 2015 plans and rates here.

You may call or email me at any time if you have questions.

Georgia Child Only Health Insurance

Children’s health insurance is only available through Healthcare.gov

Dental Insurance Georgia

Dental insurance, affordable Georgia plans to fit every budget. No waiting period on many dental insurance plans. No restrictions on pre-existing conditions.

Georgia Insurance Shop has dental insurance plans from many leading carriers including BCBSGA, Cigna, Humana and more.

Most dental plans are not insurance. Understand the difference BEFORE you buy.Humana One

  • dental plans offer discounts, not insurance coverage
  • dental plans can only be used at a small number of dental practices
  • dental plans are cheap for a reason. You have NO coverage

Dental insurance will actually PAY for most procedures. Many dental insurance plans cover routine exams and cleanings at no charge to you. For basic and major dental work, your dental insurance plan will pay a portion of the bill and you will be responsible for the balance.

Some dental plans, such as those offered by Blue Cross (BCBSGA) only pay a flat amount leaving you to owe a bundle for your treatment.

If you want a Cigna dental insurance plan you must first buy their major medical insurance.

Other dental insurance plans, including the C550 from Humana, offer the following benefits and do not require you to purchase health insurance from them..

  • no waiting period
  • no deductibles
  • copay’s for most procedures
  • no annual or lifetime maximum cap on benefits

Dental discount plans are generally priced in the $6 – $11 monthly range. Dental insurance plans begin around $16 per month for single coverage and can range upwards of $40 or more. Dental insurance plans that deliver the most VALUE do not have to be expensive. Many, such as Humana C550 offer tremendous value.

Vision Care Insurance

I have my eye on you. Affordable vision care insurance is available in Georgia. Now approved for sale to GA citizens, learn how good vision care can be a life saver.

A routine eye exam can detect early signs of eye disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and even some tumors.

Get a Georgia  vision insurance quote now.

 

Want to learn more about the Humana vision plan? Read  the vision benefit summary on our site.

Quote, review and apply direct for Georgia vision insurance benefits at our dental-vision insurance site.

Health Insurance Companies in Georgia Are Ripping You Off

Health insurance companies in Georgia are robbing you blind. Used car sales tactics like bait and switch are rampant. They trick you when you buy. They trick you when you renew, and you won't know it until it is too late.

Every health insurance company in GA have these plans. They look nice. They are relatively inexpensive. They appear to cover everything, so what's not to love?

These sneaky plans do not cover prescription drugs.

So what (you may say)? I don't use medication.

True, but health insurance is not designed for medical conditions you currently have but those that develop after the coverage is in force. If you currently have a treatable health condition, the premium or policy is designed to make you self insure that condition and they take care of the new stuff only.

Bet you didn't know that, did you?

All GA health insurance companies including Blue Cross, Humana, United Healthcare and others have plans that do not cover prescription drugs . . . EVER.

If you purchased health insurance direct from a carrier, or through an online direct marketing agency you may have bought one of these financial death trap plans and did not realize it. There are also some misinformed agents, as well as some just out to make a quick buck, that will push these plans on you if you are not careful.

One thing health insurance companies do at renewal is offer you a way to save money by making a change in your plan. One of the options they will put forth is a plan that does not cover prescription drugs. Often you can save 7 – 11% in premiums by opting for one of these plans.

But what happens when your health changes and you need a drug?

You pay for it.

Every time you fill the prescription, you pay and pay and pay. The carrier never opens their wallet and pays a dime toward the cost of your medication.

Never.

And drugs can be quite expensive. I have clients with drug costs in excess of $5,000 per month but they only pay a fraction of that. Many pay nothing for their drugs beyond the first couple of months of the year.

Before you buy or renew any major medical plan with any health insurance company, make sure you have not bought a financial snake that will come back and bite you. At Georgia Insurance Shop we only recommend plans that cover everything, including prescription drugs.

Obamacare and Single Payer

For some reason, many think they want a single payer health care system. What they don't know is, Obamacare has already created that in some situations.

I had a call today from a lady looking for health insurance with maternity coverage. I told her how her options were limited to one carrier. When she asked why, I said this was due to Obamacare.

She became annoyed and said this is why we need single payer so the carriers won't hold us hostage.

At this point I had no desire to give singing lessons, so I thanked her for calling and went back to the business at hand. But that got me thinking.

If you consider states like Maine that have intense regulation and mandates with regard to health insurance then it doesn't take long to figure out the only choice other than a government plan is Blue Cross.

If you don't like or don't qualify for the taxpayer funded plan you buy from Blue Cross . . . and you pay some of the highest health insurance premiums in the country.

Obamacrap has come to Georgia already in a sense. Last spring if you wanted maternity benefits you could pick from about a half dozen health insurance companies and different kinds of maternity benefits.

Thanks to Obamacrap, now you have one choice.

Blue Cross.

If you want maternity coverage in Georgia you buy from Blue Cross. The additional premium (in addition to the regular premium on this "Cadillac" plan) is about $200 per month. You must pay that premium for 12 months before you conceive and then you can start to access the benefits.

Over a two year period (your one year waiting period plus another 9+ months waiting on the baby) you will pay in over $2,000 in additional premiums. Once the baby arrives and the bill is totaled, your share of a normal delivery will be about $5,000 and Blue Cross will pay less than $1,000.

Once Obamacrap became law every carrier but Blue Cross pulled out of the maternity market making them, in effect, a single payer.

Many will remember the days of Ma Bell when you got your service from AT&T (or one of their subsidiaries) or you didn't have phone service. Your phone came in a basic black (although they later added different colors for the Princess line), but your choices were limited.

And everyone complained . . .

Now we have phone service in all sizes and packages, and people still complain, but at least you have a choice. If you don't like your current phone company you can go somewhere else.

But in Georgia, if you want maternity coverage you pick Blue Cross. If you don't like what they have to offer you do without because Obamacrap has made them a single payer when it comes to maternity coverage.

So for those who think they want single payer, how is this working for you?

Affordable Health Insurance in Atlanta, Georgia

If you want health insurance and especially if you don't want a maternity benefit, Georgia Insurance Shop has health insurance plans to fit almost every need and budget. We have rates from all the top health insurance companies, including Blue Cross, but also Humana, Cigna and others.

 

Wedding Postponed for Health Insurance

The Washington Post reports a bride to be in North Carolina has postponed her wedding until she can obtain health insurance. According to the Post:

Rachelle Friedman was paralyzed from the chest down after one of her bridesmaids shoved her into a pool just a month before her June wedding to her college sweetheart.

Things can get rowdy sometimes and this is definitely tragic, but so is going without health insurance. As Marlin Perkins might say, "Just as a mother bear protects her cubs, protecting your finances from loss is accomplished with a health insurance policy".

They told ABC News that their combined income as a married couple would be too high to qualify for Medicaid payments. Friedman needs the state and federally funded health coverage to pay for her constant care and rehabilitation.

We don't know how old this woman is, nor anything about her finances before the accident. Nor do we know if her parents could have provided health insurance for her either separately, or as a dependent on their plan. This moment of revelry has changed her life, probably forever and now they are expecting the taxpayers to pay for her care.

Affordable Health Insurance in Georgia

Health insurance does not have to be expensive, especially for young people. Georgia Insurance Shop has several clients under the age of 30 that are covered by excellent health insurance plans for less than $150 per month and some less than $100. For $3 to $5 per day you could have a major medical insurance plan from Blue Cross, Humana, Cigna, Aetna or other health insurance companies. Ask for a competitive rate quote today.

Trickle Down Effect of Obamacare

Hurricane Obamacare is a category 5 storm that will make landfall in January, 2014 but already we are feeling the effects of the feeder bands buffeting the country. On Monday HHS confirmed that the MLR (medical loss ratio's) as defined in Obamacrap would go into effect in 2011 without modification. We explored some of the impact of this MLR in yesterday's post.

But the MLR is much more insidious than just limiting the amount health insurance companies can spend on overhead. It is a jobs killer. 

Already several smaller health insurance companies have either exited the market or have announce they will soon leave. More will follow.

Giants like Aetna, Humana and others have already slimmed down by laying off hundreds of workers that service their health insurance block. Many of those are still unemployed and more will follow over the next few months.

These layoffs affect their ability to service prospective and existing clients. Already those of us on the front line have seen a noticeable impact on the ability to secure answers to service issues or have problems handled in a timely fashion.

Agent commissions are due to be cut drastically in January of 2011. Some say this is a good thing, but all that glitters is not gold.

Agents are 1099 employees and as such, cost the health insurance company nothing until a service is performed. The carriers do not pay our rent, or insurance or salaries. We pay all of that from our revenue.

Already it is anticipated that half the agents who are working the health insurance market will leave. That number may be low. The rest have already decided they can no longer afford to provide a high level of client service due to the fact our compensation will be cut in half and in many cases even more than that.

This lack of "free" service will shift the burden back to the home offices who are already trying to do more with less staff. If you think customer service is bad now, just wait.

It will also lead to increased complaints about the responsiveness of the health insurance companies. Complaints that will filter to state agencies who have also cut staff due to lack of state funds.

Health insurance will become a self service commodity. Some think that is a good thing. Some believe insurance companies should not profit from health care. They point to executive compensation packages, total profits and stockholders and blame them for the high cost of health insurance.

But in doing so they ignore the facts.

Executive compensation will be mostly unchanged although some will inevitably lose their job as departments are cut or eliminated. If profits suffer too much those carriers that remain in the business will withdraw, leaving less competition and higher premiums.

For what it is worth, the profit margin on health insurance averages 3%. If you look at what is commonly quoted as an average health insurance premium of $350 per month per individual then if there were $0 profits premiums would decline by about $10.

And how will stockholders be impacted?

Well, it depends.

You need to realize that stockholders are mostly retirement plans. Roughly 80% of all publicly traded stocks are held by employee retirement plans. In spite of all the media attention on Wall Street "fat cats" and their massive stock holdings, most stock is held by Joe and Mary Lunchpail. When stocks take a hit the little people suffer.

We touched on some of the issues of the MLR in yesterday's post but the impact on businesses, both large and small, is quite far reaching.

Starting in 2011 health insurance companies will have to track premiums, claims, and administrative fee's and provide a year end accounting on how much was spent on each item. This report will go to HHS but most likely also to the IRS.

If the health insurance company failed to meet the mandated MLR they must issue refund checks, and 1099's, to all covered participants. That cost will be factored into their overhead which means even less for customer service.

The checks that go out to businesses are quite complicated. Starting in 2012 business owners will start to receive refund checks for premium overcharges if things go as planned. The money received by the business means a possible amended business tax return, but it also means each business must pro-rate the refund over each individual that was a plan participant during the year and issue refund checks to those individuals.

If the premium was deducted by the employee on a pre-tax basis that means an amended return for them, and even more work for the IRS.

So far it seems as if the only winners in this deal is the IRS.

These checks and the headache that goes with this grand scheme will hit in 2012, which coincidentally happens to be an election year . . .

I wonder how many voters, already disenchanted with what they have seen of Obamacrap and who voiced their opinion at the polls a few weeks ago will return in November of 2012 and throw the bums out?

Hurricane Obamacrap has not yet made landfall but already the disruptive forces of this category 5 storm are being felt.

Obamacare Puts the Squeeze on Health Insurance

The Spectator informs us that HHS has finally spoken with regard to the MLR (medical loss ratio) guidelines for health insurance companies. The MLR dictates how much of every premium dollar health insurance companies must spend on claims.

On the surface this may sound nice but in practicality it is smoke and mirrors.

When you consider that health insurance is marketed in (at least for now) a free market where carriers are free to set prices for their product, it would seem foolish for a carrier to arbitrarily attempt to mark their product up more than their competitors. But the folks in DC and the media would have you believe just that.

The decreed loss ratio's are 80% for individual major medical and 85% for group health plans. But this comes with a hidden price.

These requirements were at the root of the controversy that arose in September over McDonald's having to drop 30,000 workers from its health plans. Eventually, they were granted a waiver from the requirements. But a lot of businesses won't receive a waiver, meaning that insurers will have to stop offering some policies, and many of them will decide to exit the individual market entirely, due to the nature of the way the financing works. This will translate into less choice and competition, and is another way that the law will lead to people losing coverage they may like.

As the article points out, not everyone got a waiver. So many who currently have health insurance will lose that benefit.

If you like the plan you have you can keep it . . . . but only if  HHS grants it a special waiver.

If the carriers fall short of those payout's they have to cut refund checks.  HHS estimates the refunds will total about $1.4 billion or about $164 per insured.

Think about this for a moment.

Each carrier will have to incur ADDITIONAL costs to comply with this stupid rule in order to calculate IF they owe a refund. Once they complete that task they will have to track down anyone who has been covered by their company, calculate their pro-rata share of the refund, and cut them a check.

If you are a business that get's a refund after you have filed your tax return that means adjusting your return to reflect the lower outlay you had for health insurance. More costs and hidden taxes associated with Obamacrap.

And then there is this little goody.

Also, it's no accident that the requirements were set at 85 percent and 80 percent. Last December, the Congressional Budget Office issued a memo saying that if the requirements were set any higher than that, health insurers would have to be considered part of the federal budget — driving up the cost estimate of ObamaCare. As the CBO put it, referencing proposals for even more stringent requirements, "this further expansion of the federal government's role in the health insurance market would make such insurance an essentially governmental program, so that all payments related to health insurance policies should be recorded as cash flows in the federal budget." At the time, the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon pointed to the memo as a "smoking gun," revealing that Democrats had deliberately hidden the true cost of ObamaCare by making sure the CBO wouldn't factor in the cost of the private sector mandates imposed by the legislation.

Well isn't that interesting?

The MLR thing is a heated battle that will result in fewer health insurance companies offering fewer choices and higher rates overall. Somehow that doesn't match up with what was promised.

AFFORDABLE Health Insurance in Georgia

Georgia Insurance Shop still has affordable health insurance plans for individuals and families in Georgia. We also have HSA's and HRA's for small businesses and self employed looking to save money on group health insurance. All the major health insurance companies are represented, including Blue Cross, Humana, Cigna, Aetna and more.