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Your personal guide to navigating through health care reform.


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low cost health insurance
OnlineNavigator insurance enrollment supportNeed help?

We make it easy to get friendly, personal and help with health care reform questions with two fast and free support options:

Online support:
OnlineNavigator
is an independent adviser service offering free online support about any health reform issue. OnlineNavigator is not acting as agent for any qualified health insurance marketplace and is not affiliated with any federal or state programs. This service is available online 24/7 through email and social media sites usually with same day response. See the web site for details on privacy policy and terms of service.

Telephone support:
Live sales agent support is available during business hours at (800) 609-0683.

Most Liberal Eligibility

Health plans for diabetics - a listing of the health plan options and other resources
Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan - a temporary government-sponsored plan available to citizens/residents who have  been uninsured for more than 6 months due to a pre-existing medical condition.
Value 24 Hour Accident - up to $10,000 of supplemental health insurance coverage for emergency treatment of injuries at a cost of about $2 per day. Can be used as a stand-alone coverage or added to other insurance.

Most Affordable

Secure Lite STM - the lowest priced major medical insurance for 1 to 12 months
Secure Saver STM - $2 million maximum coverage for 1-12 months at an ultra-low rate
Value Med Insurance - 3 question simple medical eligibility and immediate approval for supplemental doctor and hospital benefits

Long Term Major Medical

Members Health Insurance Exchange allows you to price and choose from among many of the nations leading major medical health insurance options from a wide range of carriers. Personal help is available through OnlineNavigator to help with your selection.
Celticare - well-known renewable individual major medical insurance for discriminating healthy applicants
Celtic Basic Health Insurance - a trim version of Celticare at a lower price
Celtic Saver HSA - Health Savings Account with qualifying high deductible insurance

Dental Insurance

Core Dental Insurance - preventive, basic, and major dental expenses with the dentist of your choice. Shortest waiting period.
Secure DentalOne - one lifetime deductible of $100 and then up to $1,250 per year coverage
Dental, Vision and Hearing Insurance - no deductible option, use any dentist, ophthalmologist, optometrist, physician or audiologist, no networks!

Online Life Insurance

Smart Term Life Insurance - affordable term life insurance up to $350,000 issued same day with a direct online application. No exam, agent appointment or telephone verification required.
International Term Life - up to $2 million coverage issued by Lloyds online specifically for those who spend time outside of the US

News about the Georgia health insurance exchange and supplemental coverage

Prior to implementation of the Affordable Care Act, unlike other states, Georgia provided consumer information about health insurance primarily by telephone and published relatively little data online.  A total of 211 companies were licensed to issue small group insurance. This wide variety makes it difficult to ,ake general comments on the health plans yjsy ised to be available in Georgia, especially in direct comparison to the affordability of those policies. Georgia was one of the few states tha did not have a high risk insurance pool. All of that changed for 2014 with the launch of the state insurance exchange. But most Georgians outside of the Atlamta area has only one insurance carrier (Blue Cross) available through the exchange and premium rates were among the highest in the country.

Since the passage of federal health insurance reform law, individuals in Georgia can now purchase health insurance through the state health insurance exchange or through a number of privately operated insurance exchanges. Non-insurance options, like Health Savings Accounts (HSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) can be added as effective cost-control tools; ask your adviser for more information. This Web page lists some of the state's most popular low cost commercial health insurance plans and some related benefit plans. Freedom Benefits offers personal assistance with any insurance exchange or health reform issue through www.OnlineNavigator.org . Please note that while many of these choices could be included in more than one of the suggested usage categories, each plan is listed only once for the sake of brevity. Your enrollment adviser is available to discuss suitability of any plan for your specific situation.

The state insurance exchange is expected to add additional insurance carriers for 2015, so individuals without insurance should make arrangements for temporary coverage until then. Covered health benefits under insurance purchased through the exchange in 2014 is different than those offered though any 2013 health plans. The insurance plan that sets the benchmark for qualified coverage through the exchange is listed here and a list of state-mandated benefits can be found here.

Members Health Insurance Exchange is a privately run exchange that handles pricing and direct online enrollment for many of the state's most popular commercial major medical insurance plans for individuals and families. Commercial insurance exchanges may also list less expensive insurance without the essential health benefits.


low cost health insurance

Georgia insurance & benefit news

Georgia had 318,000 people sign up for coverage for 2014 despite the fact that premiums in most of the state are among the highest in the country. Prior to health care reform, Georgia had the 18th lowest health insurance costs of all states in 2008 with an average family premium of $11,695 per year. (The average annual premium for a U.S. family covered under an employer-sponsored health plan in 2008 was $12,298 according to The Commonwealth Fund report. The overall quality of health care ranked 38th out of the 51 states (including DC). A summary of "Sources of Health Insurance in Georgia" research provides additional information.
The state has the 12th lowest small business health insurance costs in the U.S. according to a 2010 Department of Health and Human Services report with an average premium of $883 per month for family coverage.
Georgia regulates the benefits required for both individual major medical and group health insurance plans, known as "mandated benefits".

Short Term Insurance

Markel Smart STM - popular and affordable short term major medical insurance with fast online approval
Secure STM - along with its 12 month and 36 month options, this may be the highest quality short term coverage

Intermediate Term

Inbound Immigrant - up to five years of liberal health insurance coverage after immigration including maternity coverage, emergency and other essential benefits

Supplemental Insurance

Consumers Direct Accident Medical - Protection UpgradeSM supplemental coverage for as little as $20 per month.
Consumers Direct Critical Illness Insurance - Secure UpgradeSM $10,000 lump sum supplemental coverage for cancer, stroke or health disease for as little as $25 per month.
Smart Accident Insurance - supplemental coverage for emergency treatment of accidents and injuries for as little as $20 per month. Can be used as a stand-alone accident plan or to increase other insurance benefits.
Value Access Guarantee - everyone qualifies for this plan that pays in addition to any other insurance


low cost health insurance

Georgia insurance law and regulation

The Georgia Office of Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner accepts telephone calls from consumers from 8 AM to 7 PM each business day to assist with health insurance problems. The Department's Web site contains a list of frequently asked questions about insurance regulations and other basic information about health insurance.
The Consumer Services Division of the Insurance Commissioner’s Office can be reached by telephone at 404-656-2070 or by mail at Two Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive West Tower, Suite 704 Atlanta, Georgia 30334. The state children's health insurance plan (CHIP) Web site is Georgia PeachCare.

Small business plans

Freedom Benefits offers professional help with setup of self-administered Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), Premium Reimbursement Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and insurance at a low price than any small business can afford.

Non-insurance Discount Plans

Careington PPO Discount Plans - the nation's leading network PPO discount provider allows a no-risk trial of any discount plan for only a $20 processing fee
Drug Card America - a free prescription drug card that an be used nationwide
Essential Dental Solutions - simple, inexpensive, no waiting period, up to $500 treatment per year
Rx Pay Card - $10, $20, or $30 payments for hundreds of popular prescriptions.

Telemedicine

CallMD - Doctors and nurses literally on call 24/7 to answer questions, help with medical screening and write prescriptions saving you money with the most common types of medical care. $20 per month covers everyone in the household.

International Coverage and Travel Insurance

Georgia Insurance News

7/1/2014 Georgia Health News reports that UnitedHealthcare, Coventry, Cigna and Time Insurance Company have each submitted plans with the state to offer health insurance in the federally run exchange in Georgia next year. hey join the five holdovers from this year’s exchange that are also submitting rates for review: Alliant Health Plans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, and Peach State Health Plans. We do not yet know if the new insurance plans will be available statewide or just in specific regions.

2/11/2014 Professional support for any health care reform issue is available free of charge through an arrangement with OnlineNavigator. All online inquiries are handled personally by Tony Novak, CPA. Online support is available through a number of popular social media channels including Facebook and Google+ as well as e-mail. Telephone support for insurance enrollment is available through Members Insurance Exchange at (800) 609-0683.

7/26/2013 Affordable Smart Term Life Insurance is now available to most Georgia residents from age 20 through 60 directly online with no physical exam, agent appointment or telephone verification. Most policies are issued on the same day with coverage amounts of $25,000 up to $350,000. The level premium life insurance is available for terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years. Sample rates for $150,000 coverage for a preferred risk male age 30, non-tobacco $30.85 per month; tobacco user $49.55 per month. A preferred risk female age 30 non-tobacco user would be $26.49 per month and a tobacco user would be $40.96 per month. Rates are higher for older applicants and lower health risks as described online. Pricing is based on input you provide about your medical history but, unlike most other life insurers, does not consider family medical history. Coverage is issued by innovative National Life Group, rated "A" by A.M. Best Company for 2013.

3/6/2013 This page was updated to include a link to the insurance plan that will be used to determine specific "essential health benefits" for insurance that qualified for 2014 federal tax purposes. Also, a link to additional covered benefits required by state law. Non-qualified insurance is likely to continue to be available at a lower cost that does not include these benefits nor qualify for federal tax purposes.

7/13/2012 Georgia will not move ahead with reform and expansion of Medicaid. Governor Deal hopes that the federal health reform law will be repealed after the November presidential election. The state now covers 1.7 million people under its Medicaid program and yet one in five people do not have health insurance.

2/1/2012 The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, a division of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that as of June 30, 2011 BCBS Healthcare Plan of Georgia is the state's largest health insurance provider and as such, earns the right to set the benchmark for the development of the state's essential benefit plans to debut in 2014 under health reform law.

11/7/2011 Georgia opened its Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to the kids of low-income and part-time state employees, an option that was prohibited until the passage of the 2010 health-care law. The program is jointly financed by the state and the federal government to provide coverage to the uninsured children of families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private insurance.

10/17/2011 Georgia state law H 47 enacted 5/13/2011 authorizes health insurance companies to offer "cross-border" or out-of-state individual sickness insurance policies in-state, that have been approved for issuance in other states. Freedom Benefits has endorsed this provision for more than a decade. We hope that Georgia's progressive leadership is noticed and adapted by other states.

3/8/2011 Georgia is playing "catch-up" with health reform. We expect that the development of a state health insurance exchange will soon be expedited through the use of an executive order by the Governor. Meanwhile, the state will request an exemption from the federal minimum loss ratio rules for its health plans this year. Existing health plans are reported to be unprepared and unable to meet the requirements this year.

2/12/2011 With dozens of health plans choices available online offering a wide range of pricing and benefits, how do you find the best combination of price and benefits? Celtic Insurance realizes that the choices can be overwhelming; the company offers more than 40 possible health plan designs in many parts of the United States. A new feature called "Help Me Choose" lets users easily and quickly select the benefits they value most and narrows the list down to a few of the best choices. No personal information is required other than zip code and date of birth.

2/7/2011 The state's pre-existing condition insurance plan (PCIP) monthly premium rates (per person):

Plan/Age Band

0-18

19-34

35-44

45-54

55+

Standard

$174

$261

$313

$400

$557

Extended

$234

$351

$422

$539

$749

HSA

$181

$271

$325

$416

$578

PCIP will cover a broad range of health benefits, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs. All covered benefits are available for you, beginning on your coverage effective date, even if it’s to treat a pre-existing condition - there are no waiting periods. PCIP applicants who are approved to participate in PCIP can choose from three plan options, with different levels of premiums, calendar year deductibles, prescription deductibles and prescription copays. The HSA Option provides an opportunity to open a Health Savings Account, a tax-exempt account where you can deposit funds for eligible medical expenses. Each of the three PCIP plan options provides preventive care (paid at 100%, with no deductible) when you see an in-network doctor and the doctor indicates preventive diagnosis. Included are annual physicals, flu shots, routine mammograms and cancer screenings. For other care, you will pay a deductible before PCIP pays for your health care and prescriptions. After you pay the deductible, you will pay 20% of medical costs in-network. The maximum you will pay out-of-pocket for covered services in a calendar year is $5,950 in-network/$7,000 out-of-network. There is no lifetime maximum or cap on the amount the plan pays for your care. If you apply for PCIP coverage on the government Web site, you will be billed for the premium once your application is approved. You will need to send in your payment in order for your coverage to be effective. Please do not send in the premium before you are billed. Note that your premium may increase if you age into a higher rate tier, or if PCIP adjusts its premiums to any changes in the commercial market.

2/3/2011 Georgia is named as one of the states most likely to cut back on Medicaid spending and coverage. The Universal Health Insurance blog discusses the impact on the state's commercial insurance consumers.

1/30/2011 Patients with health insurance and a credit card now have access to VIP treatment when care is needed at a hospital emergency room. Emory-Adventist Hospital in Smyrna and North Fulton Hospital in Roswell joined the growing list of hospitals that allows patients to use InQuickER, a reservation system that books appointments and reduces waiting time in the emergency room. The reservation system makes check-in easier by recording your insurance and payment information in advance. The service costs $15 to $25. Of course the nature unpredictable medical emergencies mean that the service cannot absolutely guarantee that you'll be seen immediately at your appointment time, but you get a full refund if not treated within 15 minutes after arrival. The InQuickER service works in conjunction with any of the private health insurance plans listed here at FreedomBenefits.net but is not available to uninsured patients.

12/26/2010 A summary of research findings of the Georgia State University Center for Health Services Research Institute of Health Administration of the J. Mack Robinson College of Businesses published in "Sources of Health Insurance in Georgia" shows those groups most at risk to be uninsured when affordable health coverage is not available.

12/16/2010 Georgia Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget officials met representatives of 44 other states and numerous employees of the federal Health and Human Services Department in Washington DC this week for a two-day working meeting to discuss the next steps in establish a government-run health insurance exchange under the American Health Benefit Exchange Model Act. Their attendance at this meeting was paid for by a $1 million federal grant awarded by HHS in September to the state for research how to set up an insurance exchange. Two states (Alaska and Minnesota) declined to participate, saying that it was a waste of taxpayer money. Four other states (not identified in press reports) that received federal grants did not send representatives to the meeting. Attendees included representatives of 16 states that are suing the federal government in an attempt to overturn the federal health reform law; specifically the requirement that forces individuals to buy health insurance on the insurance exchange or pay a hefty tax fine.

In its initial federal grant request for the insurance exchange project, the Office of Planning and Budget said that it would: 1) Form an Exchange Work Group to carry out the activities of the Georgia Health Benefit Exchange Feasibility Study. An Exchange Advisory Committee will also be formed with broader representation from key State agencies and stakeholder groups, 2) Gather stakeholder input through an advisory committee, large group meetings to educate and inform stakeholders, focus groups, and web-based surveys. Website and email notices will be used to keep stakeholders and the general public informed, 3) Determine whether or not Georgia should establish an Exchange and the implications of doing so on insurance markets both in Georgia and nationally, and 4) Provide recommendations on governance structure and regulatory changes required to establish as Exchange to decision makers.

The meeting reportedly did not address the role of the commercial health insurance exchanges on the implementation of new competing government systems. The model act does not address inter-state insurance exchange proposals nor insurance sales across state lines. Federal officials admitted that they may not be able to provide further guidance until 2012. Meanwhile, most states are motivated to continue to meet requirements to obtain additional funding promised by the federal government for the establishment of insurance exchange by 2014. Freedom Benefits has previously voiced the opinion that the huge amount of money being spent to set up alternate insurance sales system technologies could be better used providing health benefits to the public. We proposed on the Universal Health Insurance blog that adequate commercial insurance sales systems are already in place that could be modified in a public/private partnership to make health insurance more affordable.

5/14/2010 Diabetes Coverage: A new resource to help find health insurance for diabetics in Georgia is now available at Freedom Benefits.



editorial information
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This Web site is independently owned and operated by Tony Novak operating under the trademarks "Freedom Benefits", "OnlineAdviser" and "OnlineNavigator". Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author and do not represent the opinion of any other person, company or entity mentioned. Tony Novak is not an agent, broker, producer or navigator for any federal or state health insurance exchange but may provide uncompensated advice, reviews and referrals to these resources. Novak is compensated as an accountant, adviser, affiliate consultant, marketer, reviewer, endorser, producer, lead generator or referrer to some of the other commercial companies listed on this site. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. Any tax advice in this communication including attachments and linked resources cannot be used by the taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.