If you do not have health insurance in 2022 while residing in Georgia, then you are doing it completely wrong! The reason is that you continuously risk yourself, both physically and financially. According to figures, healthcare costs $12,530 per individual in the USA, which is $1000 more than in 2019, and Georgia has relatively higher health costs. The state of Georgia mandates its citizens to acquire at least some basic level of coverage to avoid paying exorbitant medical expenses. Hence, you must buy insurance for yourself and your family to access affordable health insurance in Georgia. Before looking into affordable health insurance for Georgia residents, let’s look at some vital statistics related to health care in GA.
- Out of 10.52 million residents in Georgia, 14.5% are uninsured, making it the third-highest state with non-insured locals.
- An average inpatient hospital day in Georgia costs around $1,665 without insurance.
- Out of the total population, 46.9% are covered by employer-sponsored insurance, 5.9% have non-group insurance, the military covers 3.2, and Medicaid covers 15.9%. In comparison, the remaining 13.6% have Medicare coverage.
The above facts and figures show that every resident prefers insurance coverage according to their medical needs. Hence, health insurance is not the best example of “one size fits all.” We have put together this handbook, so you can analyze different health insurance plans and find the right one that covers your demands the best. Furthermore, we have given detailed information on Georgia state aid programs and other affordable health insurance options for Georgia, so you can find the answer to “How to get health insurance in Georgia?”
Find the Best Health Insurance in Georgia: How To Apply Through the Marketplace?
Like many other states, Georgia uses the federal Health Insurance Marketplace for enrolling residents into state-aided health insurance plans. Therefore, to view the available plans visit HealthCare.gov. Here is how to apply through the Marketplace:
- Once you have selected the plan of your choice, create or log into your Marketplace account. You must enter personal information like your name, email address, home address, etc.
- Then you will fill in the application for the Marketplace coverage. You must provide your social security number, information about the insurance agent/broker, immigration documents (for immigrants only), income and employer information, etc.
- After submitting your application, you will get results immediately. Also, you will find out if you qualify for a Marketplace plan with savings or Medicaid/CHIPS.
- The last step is to compare the available plans, enroll in the one that meets your needs best, and pay the premium.
When Can I Enroll In Medicaid And ACA Marketplace Plans?
To enroll for an ACA plan, you must apply during the Open Enrollment Period, which runs from 1st November to 15th January next year. However, you can also apply outside this window if your life undergoes drastic changes like marriage/divorce, the death of a family member, losing a job, having/adopting a child, or moving to a different state. It is called a Special Enrollment Period that lasts for 60 days after encountering any of the above situations.
Best Options for Cheap Medical Insurance in Georgia
Here is a complete run-through of the best options for affordable healthcare coverage in Georgia. Look through them and find cheap health insurance in Georgia for your fellow locals and yourself. But before anything else, you should also check the EPO review because this is something you may be interested in.
1. Georgia Medical Assistance Program:
On top of the list is the Georgia Medical Assistance program generally referred to as Medicaid. Note that Medicaid has various state-specific names. Georgia Medicaid provides healthcare coverage to millions of poverty-stricken residents that cannot afford other medical coverage. Furthermore, it is funded by the federal government and the state of Georgia and is run by the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH). Georgia Medicaid covers
Read below to find the answers to FAQs about health insurance in Georgia for low-income individuals.
Who Is Eligible for Georgia Medical Assistance?
You are eligible for Georgia medical assistance or Medicaid if you have a low income and fit one of the following categories:
- Have a disability
- Legally blind
- 65 or older
- Need nursing home care
What Health Benefits Does Georgia Medicaid Cover?
Since Medicaid is regulated by federal law, it must provide the following mandatory coverage according to the Affordable Care Act (ACA):
- Inpatient and Outpatient hospital services
- Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment Services (EPSDT)
- Nursing Facility, home health, and physician services
- Family planning, nurse midwife, and family planning services
- Laboratory and X-ray services
- Transportation to medical centers
However, Georgia Medicaid provides some additional benefits. It includes:
- Preventive health benefits include physical exams, counseling, immunizations, and screenings.
- Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder
- Behavioral health services
If Georgia Medical Assistance does not cover expenses for accidents or other serious illnesses, consider purchasing supplemental health insurance plans to reduce out-of-pocket costs. Also, such affordable health plans usually start at only $10 per month.
How can I apply for Georgia Medicaid?
To apply for Georgia Medicaid, visit the federal Marketplace (as mentioned above) or the Georgia Gateway to apply for Georgia Medical Assistance.
2. PeachCare for Kids Program
If you are a low-income resident looking for health insurance in Georgia for your kid , PeachCare is the ideal program for your uninsured child.
PeachCare is a comprehensive health insurance plan that began covering Georgia’s uninsured children in 1998, and the Georgia department of community health administers it. As of 2016, there were 134,000 enrolled children under PeachCare for Kids program. Moreover, its inexpensive costs make it one of the most affordable health insurance in Georgia.
Read below to learn about the enrollment, eligibility criteria, and coverage of PeachCare for Kids.
What Does Peachcare For Kids Cover?
PeachCare for Kids provides many health benefits, including preventive, specialist, primary, dental, and vision care. Furthermore, it covers hospitalization and emergency room (ER) expenses, mental health care, and prescription medications. Other benefits include:
- Regular check-ups
- Sick child doctor visits
- Substance abuse services
PeachCare covers dental expenses, so you do not have to buy separate dental insurance for kids.
What are The Eligibility Criteria?
To enroll in PeachCare for Kids in Georgia, your child must fulfill the eligibility criteria:
- Resident of Georgia
- A U.S citizen or legal immigrant
- Under the age of 19
- Does not have medical coverage or is not eligible for Medicaid
- Meet specific income requirements.
What Does PeachCare Health Insurance Cost In Georgia?
For children under six, no premiums or co-payments are charged. The same goes for children in foster care and American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
The current monthly premium for one child under the PeachCare for Kids ranges from $11 to $36, and for two or more children living in the same house range from $$16 to $72. However, you may have to make co-payments for some services if your child is older than six.
How to Apply For PeachCare for Kids Program?
If you wish to enroll your child in this healthcare program, visit www.gateway.ga.gov to apply online, or you can visit your local DFCS office to apply in person. Also, you can apply through the email or phone number provided on their website. Keep in mind that the waiting period for PeachCare is 45 days after enrolling.
3. ObamaCare in Georgia
ObamaCare is more commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These are the plans your state and private insurance providers provide in the Marketplace. However, all the plans are authorized to cover 10 essential health benefits, according to the ACA law enacted in March 2010.
The extensive coverage and affordable price make ObamaCare the best individual cheap health insurance in Georgia for those who are not covered by other insurance. Furthermore, if a local is searching for young adults’ health insurance, Marketplace plans are the right option because the acceptance rate is high and the cost is affordable.
Some of the best insurance companies that provide cheap health insurance in Georgia are:
- Anthem blue cross and blue shield
- Kaiser Permanente
- Oscar health plan of GA
- Alliant health plans
If you decide to purchase insurance from a private provider, click here to learn everything about the private health insurance buying process.
What Does The Obamacare Cover?
The essential health benefits that every health insurance plan in the Marketplace offers include maternity and hospital care, inpatient/outpatient services, emergency services, mental health and substance abuse treatment, laboratory services, prescription drug coverage, doctors’ services, etc.
Who Is Eligible For Obamacare in Georgia?
Georgia’s ACA or ObamaCare health insurance plans are available to families, individuals, self-employed people in business, and everyone who is not eligible for Medicaid. However, you must fall into the given eligibility criteria:
- You are a legal U.S citizen
- Live in the U.S
- You are not incarcerated
When to apply for ObamaCare health insurance plans?
Since ObamaCare is a Marketplace insurance plan, you must wait for the Open Enrollment Period. Usually, it starts on 1st November and ends on 15th December. However, if you miss the OEP, sign for ACA coverage during the Special Enrollment Period.
How Much Is Obamacare In Georgia?
The ObamaCare Marketplace health plans in Georgia have four metallic tiers: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Each provides the 10 essential health benefits according to the ACA law, but each has a varying ratio of what you will pay and what the insurance will cover.
So, according to this, there is no exclusive answer to “How affordable health insurance in Georgia is?” because each tier has distinct premiums, the bronze plans having the lowest while platinum plans having the highest. On the other hand, platinum plans provide 90% coverage of healthcare expenses, whereas bronze covers only 60%.
FAQS about Health Insurance in Georgia:
What Is The Best Health Insurance In Georgia?
If we have to choose a health plan for the title “the most affordable health insurance in Georgia,” it would be the Silver health insurance plan because it falls directly in the middle of the cheapest and the most expensive. There is a moderate balance between the monthly premiums and out-of-pocket medical costs, which makes it the right choice for young individuals with enough savings. Furthermore, tax credits help you lower your premiums if you fit the eligibility criteria: income between 100% and 400% Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
What Is The Cheapest Health Insurance In Georgia?
Medicaid is cheap health insurance in Georgia that one can qualify for because, most of the time, it is free and people can save money on health insurance. While on the other hand, some states may charge Medicaid enrollees premiums or some cost-sharing expenses. However, in Georgia, it is entirely cost-free.
What Is The Average Cost Of Health Insurance In Georgia?
Here is the average health insurance cost in Georgia for various tiers of Marketplace plans. Each has varying coverage, monthly premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs. Hence, the tiers of health insurance plans cannot be compared on the same level.
- The average monthly costs are:
- Bronze: $350 for each month
- Silver: $525 for each month
- Gold: $532 for each month
- Platinum: $681 for each month
In addition to these Marketplace plans, there is a level called the “Catastrophic tier.” It is best for you if you are looking to buy the cheapest health insurance in Georgia. It is also suitable for low-income residents considering an affordable health insurance in Georgia because its monthly cost is only $350.
How Much Is Health Insurance a Month for a Single Person in Georgia?
In Georgia, the average cost of an individual health plan is $585. This cost fluctuates depending on several factors like:
- Your medical history
- The tier of ACA Marketplace coverage you choose
- Tax credit
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