Georgia: Health Coverage and Insurance Options

Updated October 29, 2019

Georgia residents who find themselves in need of temporary health insurance may wish to consider the quality short term medical insurance coverage offered by Pivot Health.

Pivot Health’s short term medical plan provides comprehensive benefits coverage for physician visits, in-hospital care, urgent care facility visit and much more. Other key features which benefit Georgians include:

Coverage you want at an affordable price
Pivot Health’s short term health insurance provides many of the same benefits as individual major medical plans, with budget-friendly rates.
Flexible coverage duration
Choose the coverage duration length which meets your needs.
Freedom to choose the health care providers you want
no network restrictions enable you to seek treatment from any doctor or hospital to access your plan benefits.
Simple, speedy application process
Pivot Health’s user-friendly online application process takes just a short time to use, and you’ll know within minutes of applying if you have been approved for coverage.
Coverage when you want it
qualified applicants can choose the date they want coverage to begin, even as quickly as within 24 hours from the time of application.

As part of the Pivot Health membership package, short term medical plan insureds also receive several non-insurance benefits, such as:

Unlimited access to discounted telehealth doctor consultations.
No need to book an appointment, drive to the office and sit in a waiting room. Connect directly with a doctor whenever and wherever it works for you – telehealth consultations are available 24/7. Save money compared to a standard office or urgent care facility visit.
Eyewear and eye care savings.
With discounts of 15 percent to 40 percent on eye exams, eyeglass lenses, frames for eyeglasses and contact lenses, it’s clear to see that it’s easy and affordable to maintain good vision health.
Valuable discounts on prescription drugs.
Savings of up to 75 percent on prescription drugs at thousands of pharmacies across the country makes it a little easier on your wallet to budget for prescription medication.

Many Georgia Residents Still Need Health Insurance Coverage

A recently released 2015 U.S. Census Bureau study reported that Georgia had the third-highest rate of uninsured residents – 13.9 percent – more than 3 percent higher than the national uninsured rate of 9.1 percent. Despite this rate decreasing from 15.8 percent in 2014, this means that nearly 1.4 million Georgians still have no health insurance coverage.

Those Georgians who purchase individual major medical insurance on the exchange experienced an average premium increase of 32% for 2017, which is significantly higher than the national average increase of 25%. Nearly 90% of Georgia exchange enrollees receive premium subsidies, but for Georgians who purchase exchange coverage without subsidy assistance, they are facing the sticker shock of a staggering premium hike.

Adding to the woes in the Georgia health insurance market is the withdrawal of nearly half of the major medical insurers offering exchange plans. Facing “sicker shock” – the fact that exchange enrollees are sicker and more costly to cover than expected – Aetna, Cigna, Harken Health and UnitedHealthCare left the state. Thousands of Georgians have been forced to go without coverage, purchase plans outside the exchange, or choose new plans for 2017 with different insurance carriers.

A key challenge with choosing a new exchange plan is that many of these plans have restrictive provider networks. Switching plans might mean that health care providers that Georgians have seen for years, or a hospital they prefer, might not be covered. For Georgia residents in the middle of treatment with a specific provider or facility, this entails coordinating medical record transfers and “starting over” with a new provider.

Recently, a Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being: 2016 State Well-Being Rankings report ranked Georgia 29th in the nation for their overall well-being. Georgia ranked high in the Purpose (liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve goals) and Social (having supportive relationships and love in your life) elements. But the economic pressure that the state’s health insurance challenges pose to many residents might have been a factor in Georgia’s low ranking in these indicators:

managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

A high uninsured rate, escalating premium costs, fewer insurance carrier options and concerns about changes that Washington may make to reform the health care system all emphasize the need for Georgians to have access to a greater range of health insurance options.

Pivot Health offers Georgia residents a short term health insurance option that may meet their needs and budgets. This type of plan provides comprehensive coverage at a fraction of the cost of major medical insurance coverage, with no provider network restrictions.

The State of Health and Health Insurance in Georgia

The 2017 Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance gave Georgia an overall ranking of 41 out of 51 (the 50 states plus the District of Columbia).  This is the most recent version of the organization’s scorecard of its comparison for states in the U.S.  The Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard rated Georgia in several areas, including:

  • Uninsured adults aged 19 to 64: 46th ranking (19 percent in Georgia, compared to the U.S. average of 13 percent)
  • Uninsured children ages 0 to 18:  36th ranking (7 percent, compared to the U.S. average of 5 percent)
  • Adults who went without care because of cost in the previous year:  43rd ranking (16 percent in Georgia, compared to the U.S. average of 13 percent)
  • Individuals under age 65 with high out-of-pocket costs relative to annual household income:  27th ranking (15 percent, compared to the U.S. average of 14 percent)
  • At-risk adults who did not have a routine doctor visit in the previous two years:  27th ranking (14 percent in Georgia, compared to U.S. average of 13 percent)
  • Adults that did not visit a dentist in the previous year:  37th ranking (17 percent, compared to U.S. average of 16 percent)
  • Adults with age- and gender-appropriate cancer screenings:  14th ranking (70 percent in Georgia, compared to the U.S. average of 68 percent)
  • Hospitalized people who said the hospital staff managed pain well, were responsive to calls for help and who explained medications and their side effects:  33rd ranking (67 percent, compared to the U.S. average of 68 percent)
  • Breast cancer deaths per 100,000 females: 44th ranking (22.7 in Georgia, compared to U.S. average of 20.6)
  • Colorectal cancer deaths per 100,000 people: 38th ranking (15.7 percent, compared to the U.S. average of 14.3 percent)
  • Suicide deaths per 100,000:  13th ranking (12.6 percent in Georgia, compared to U.S. average of 13 percent)
  • Adults who report fair or poor health or activity limitations: 27th ranking (26 percent, the same as the U.S. average of 26 percent)
  • Adults who smoke:  26th ranking (18 percent in Georgia, compared to the U.S. average of 17 percent)
  • Adults who are obese: 30th ranking (31 percent, compared to the U.S. average of 29 percent)
  • Children (ages 10-17) who are overweight or obese: 42nd ranking (35 percent in Georgia, compared to the U.S. average of 31 percent)
  • Percent of adults who have lost 6 or more teeth due to decay or disease:  37th ranking (12 percent, compared to the U.S. average of 10 percent)

Georgia had positive rankings in these additional categories:

  • Children ages 19-35 months who received all recommended doses of seven key vaccines
  • Medicare patients whose health provider always listens, explains, shows respect, and spends enough time with them
  • Home health patients who improved at walking or moving around
  • Home health patients whose wounds improved or healed after an operation

2017 Health Insurance Plans in Georgia

Four large health insurance carriers exited the Georgia exchange at the end of 2016. This leaves only the following health insurance companies offering individual major medical insurance plans on the exchange in Georgia for 2017:

  • Alliant
  • Ambetter from Peach State Health Plan
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
  • Humana
  • Kaiser Permanente

With fewer major medical insurance choices available in Georgia, it is more important than ever for Georgians to have access to affordable, comprehensive medical coverage options. Pivot Health’s short term health insurance plan provides that choice.

Medicaid Enrollment in Georgia

Georgia is one of 19 states that has chosen not to expand Medicaid under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. However, the state has a high poverty rate, and health insurance experts believe that a sizable percentage of currently uninsured residents would benefit from Medicaid expansion. In fact, a Kaiser Family Foundation report estimated that there are approximately 309,000 people in the Medicaid “coverage gap.” These people do not qualify for federal premium subsidies to help them afford exchange plans, but they also are not eligible to be insured by Medicaid programs under Georgia’s current regulations.

Because they can’t get Medicare and can’t afford Obamacare plans, these people may greatly benefit from an affordable, comprehensive health care benefits choice such as Pivot Health short term medical insurance.”

Your Health Care Coverage Choices

Georgia has a sizable percentage of uninsured and underinsured residents.

If you do not have health insurance: Pivot Health’s Short Term Health Insurance provides you comprehensive medical coverage that may meet your benefit and budget needs.

Pivot Health: offering you choices and flexibility to meet your needs as they change over time.

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