Forget what you have heard. Obamacare means higher premiums and fewer choices. Only 7 carriers will participate in the federally run Georgia health insurance exchange.
- Less competition, not more
- New mandates in Obamacare means higher premiums
- “Insurance companies can no longer discriminate” means health insurance coverage is available to anyone who can afford it
- If you qualify for a subsidy, premiums may be affordable but you may not like your choices
- Open enrollment begins October 1, 2013. So? Obamacare has been called a train wreck for good reason
Several Georgia health insurance carriers will NOT participate in the exchange.
Aetna, Alliant, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Coventry, Humana, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, and Peach State will offer plans through the exchange.
If your carrier isn’t on that list they won’t be in the exchange.
This is actually good news.
If you decide to buy outside of the exchange you will not only have more options but will have a much broader provider network and improved drug plan formulary.
You Cannot be Refused Coverage
Health insurance companies can not turn you down for a pre-existing condition. This is good news if coverage has been denied in the past.
It also means healthy people will pay more, a lot more, for their coverage. The gym rat pays the same rate as the couch potato. Obamacare means higher premiums for everyone.
Change is Mandatory
In 2014 every American must carry health insurance, and it must have benefit levels that comply with the new law. For people currently insured under a non-grandfathered Small Group or Individual/Family (IFP) health plan, the upgrade to the new benefit levels is substantial and will cause higher costs.
The effective date is January 1, 2014, and Open Enrollment begins October 1, 2013. Most people are scheduled to change plans January 1, 2014. Fortunately, the law allows people to wait until their current plan’s renewal date on or after January 1, 2014.
Several health insurance carriers will allow you to lock in today’s low rates and keep that rate through the end of 2014. Ask us for details.
Premium Subsidies Might be Available
One of the more controversial provisions of Obamacare is the premium subsidy. If you earn less than 400% of the FPL (federal poverty level) you MIGHT qualify for a premium subsidy. The subsidy calculator tells the tale.
If you want to purchase a plan and take advantage of the subsidy you MUST buy through the exchange. HHS estimates it will take you 45 minutes to complete the application online or with the assistance of an enroller. If you qualify for a subsidy you will then be allowed to view the plans available in the exchange.
Obamacare means higher premiums, fewer choices but in some cases the higher premiums may be offset with taxpayer subsidies.
You can only buy health insurance at specified times. The initial enrollment period begins on October 1 and runs through March 2014. If you buy in October your coverage begins on January 1. If you miss the open enrollment you have to wait until next year unless you have a qualifying event.
Obamacare means higher premiums. Resistance is futile.