Obamacare Update 2013

October 1, 2013 is the official kick off for Obamacare plans. We felt it was time for an Obamacare update 2013 for those who have been snoozing. Things you need to know about the Obamacare health insurance exchange, Exhaustionavailable plans OFF the exchange, plan design and subsidies.

Obamacare Update 2013 – Exchanges

Much has been said about exchanges, now called the marketplace. But you are only getting part of the story.

In Georgia, there will only be a handful of carriers and plans offered on the exchange. Georgia is divided into 17 cost regions for community rating purposes. In some regions your only choice ON THE EXCHANGE will be Blue Cross.

Final plan design and rates have not been officially released yet, but expect the plans to be skinny and the networks even skinnier.

Most plans will have high deductibles and only a few will have doctor copay’s.

Some plans will only have one hospital in network. Most plans will use an HMO design. On exchange plans may only have one pharmacy in network and will only cover a limited number of drugs.


Obamacare Update 2013 – Off Exchange Options

Several carriers will write coverage in Georgia but only for those not buying on the exchange. A few examples of off-exchange only carriers are Aetna, Assurant and Cigna.

Off-exchange plans will have broad PPO or POS networks and will cover more prescription drugs with fewer restrictions.

Unless you qualify for a subsidy, there is no reason to buy on the exchange.


Grandfathered Plans

Very little has been said about grandfathered plans (those issued before March, 2010).

If you have a grandfathered plan you don’t have to do anything. You can keep the plan you have.

Most likely you are paying more than you need for that plan and your rate will continue to climb. We expect grandfathered plans to be eliminated within two years.

If your health is decent you should probably look at making a change now. If you or one of your family members have health issues you should consider changing to an Obamacare plan when they become available. You might also want to put some family members on a 2013 plan design and others on a 2014 model.


Check Health Insurance Rates

You can check current rates using this link. After October 1 we should be able to see Obamacare plans and rates.

Everything is changing and will continue to be in a state of flux going forward.


Your Obamacare Update 2013 Checklist

  • If you have a grandfathered plan, shop and compare
  • If you have a current plan issued since March, 2010, shop and compare
  • If you don’t have coverage, shop and compare
  • If you think you qualify for a subsidy go to healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 and ask for assistance.
  • As of 9/25/2013 Georgia has only ONE navigator. Don’t expect miracles.


Bob Vineyard and Georgia Insurance Shop will do everything we can to assist you with OFF-EXCHANGE options. Let us know if we can help.