ACA Premium Rate Hikes Lower in Georgia for 2019

Date: July 17, 2018

 

For Georgians buying healthcare coverage on the insurance exchange, the premium rates for 2019 will look a lot better than they have in the past.

Last year, for example, the premium rates skyrocketed by more than 50 percent; this year, the highest is an increase of less than 15 percent. Of course, higher costs are still not great news, but it could be—and has been—much worse. The state insurance department released these proposed premiums earlier this month:

  • 2.2 percent increase for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
  • 5.7 percent increase for Alliant
  • 8.8 percent increase for Ambetter
  • 14.7 percent increase for Kaiser Permanente

Although Blue Cross pulled out of the marketplace for 2018 in 74 counties, they are aiming to provide 2019 coverage in 135 of Georgia’s 159 counties, including most of metro Atlanta, which currently doesn’t have access to Blue Cross plans on the exchange.

These numbers aren’t final, and the insurance department has until Aug. 22 to approve or reject them, but Georgia State University health insurance expert Bill Custer noted that these first filings signal a pretty stable market with rate increases compared to the annual rate of medical inflation, Georgia Health News reported. For 2018, rates went sky-high in large part because of the uncertainty over the law’s future, but Custer said that insurers may have adjusted to and absorbed these kinds of shocks to the market.

Even so, uncertainty remains—the individual mandate will officially end in 2019, alternative types of coverage may be emerging, and a 20-state coalition (including Georgia) is challenging the ACA in court.

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Georgia

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