Health Insurance Options for Georgia in 2020
It’s that time of the year when people who do not have group health benefits have to scramble to find the most affordable health insurance options for the next year.
If you are eligible for Medicare, your mailbox is probably full with brochures from various insurance companies trying to sell you their products. Just remember, Medicare Open Enrollment is from October 15 to December 7, and if you want to make any changes to your Medicare Advantage plans, now is the time to look at your options.
There are some interesting changes this year with some Medicare Advantage plans offering gym memberships as well as discounts or allowances for dental, vision, and hearing benefits. The most important things to look for are the network of doctors and the prescription formularies as they can vary significantly from one insurance company to another.
Individual health insurance Open Enrollment, also known as Obamacare Open Enrollment is from November 1 to December 15, when people with individual health policies can make changes to their plans or apply for new coverage.
Next year, 5 major health insurance companies will be available in Georgia: Alliant, Ambetter, Anthem/Blue Cross, Kaiser, and Oscar. Oscar is the newest insurance company to enter the GA individual health market.
Not all insurance companies offer health plans in all counties, but at least we will have more choices than we had in the last several years.
Qualifying for Obamacare
To qualify for tax credits and cost sharing offered through Obamacare, there are 3 main requirements:
1. You must be a legal resident.
2. In Georgia, you must have some minimum income based on number of people in your household. Your total household income also must not be greater than the threshold. (See chart below).
3. You cannot be a tax dependent on someone else’s tax return.
Alternatives to Obamacare
Many people are not eligible for the tax credits and cost sharing of Obamacare because their incomes are too high. Many of these people find themselves with extremely high premiums.
The good news is that now that the individual mandate for health insurance and the tax penalty associated with it is no more, there are many other alternative health plans with lower premiums. But be careful! Not all are insurance. Some are just discount plans that offer limited benefits.
Short Term Medical Plans
Short term medical plans, also known as catastrophic health plans, offer a viable solution for people who are in good health and not eligible for tax credits.
It is highly recommended that you talk to an experienced insurance broker who represents many companies and can guide you through the plan selection process, because once the open enrollment is over, your options for enrolling into marketplace plans is over unless you have a qualifying event such as loss of group benefits, moving into a new state, or gaining new immigration status.
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note: investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
Moneywise is hosted by Rajesh Jyotishi with Shalin Financial Services, Inc.
Rajesh Jyotishi is a registered representative of Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC, which is a registered broker-dealer and a member of FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services are offered through Dempsey Lord Smith, LLC.
Rajesh has been a resident of Atlanta since 1975 and in the financial services industry since 1991. For questions, he can be reached at 770-884-8175 or at RJ@shalinfinancial.com.
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