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Affordable Care Act: Georgia premium rate variation is worst in nation

Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 6:06 PM
Last updated 7:56 PM
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Location, location, location.

It’s not only a priority for real estate. In Georgia’s health insurance exchange, geography makes a big difference in what an individual’s monthly premium will be.

Last week, Georgia Health News reported that the highest-cost region in the state, in southwest Georgia, had premiums for the cheapest “silver’’ plan that were double those in three other regions, including metro Atlanta.

Kaiser Health News has now reported that the premium variation in Georgia is the biggest within any state in the country.

The Kaiser article appears just before the Tuesday debut of states’ health insurance exchanges, where millions of Americans are expected to gain coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Kaiser Health News reported that a 40-year-old in rural southwest Georgia would pay $481 a month for a midlevel plan – more than double the cost of someone in the eastern portion of the state, where the premium is $238.

Just one insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, is offering coverage in two southwestern regions.

“Long a fact of life in the world of insurance brokers, rate variations within a single state have been thrown into sharp relief because for the first time, consumers can compare prices for comparable products by logging into the new online marketplaces,’’ Kaiser Health News reported.

A 42-year-old individual in the least expensive county in Georgia will pay $247 for the cheapest silver plan, while the same person in the most expensive county will pay $499, a 102 percent difference, KHN reported.

The state with the next biggest variation is Wisconsin, with an 82 percent difference.

The costs of care are high in southwest Georgia, Bill Custer, a health insurance expert at Georgia State University, told Georgia Health News last week. The area has a large proportion of people with chronic disease, and in addition, there is a lack of competition among medical providers there, he said.

Two years ago, the region’s dominant hospital system, Phoebe Putney, purchased its only hospital competitor in Albany. The Federal Trade Commission challenged the deal in court, calling it anti-competitive. The case was settled several weeks ago, and Phoebe retained control of the former Palmyra Medical Center.

Blue Cross is the only health insurer offering coverage in every region of Georgia.

For more from Georgia Health News, go to www.georgiahealthnews.com.

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oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 09/30/13 - 07:32 pm
5
4
Heath Care
Unpublished

Why does it not surprise anyone that the "Health Care Act" does nothing for the Health of anyone? It does take control of the money, but there is not one sentence in it that will improve the health of anyone. For example; it does not ban the use of tobacco in public, it does not ban the advertizement of booze to kids, it does not provide life sentences for drug dealers. It is not a "Health Care Act" it is a Federal take over of your personal life between you and your Doctor.

nocnoc
44736
Points
nocnoc 09/30/13 - 08:36 pm
4
1
Some one warn y'all

We were being fed the perfect situation last week 25 y/o in great health, for PR promotional reasons.

Now we see headline

WORST IN THE NATION

Told you so...

If you still support Obama that's your Business.

But given the increasely NEGATIVE FACTS we learn more and more each day about the UNAFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE ACT.

At least admit it is needs serious reworking, before full implementation.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 09/30/13 - 11:15 pm
1
3
I get it, Mr. Miller doesn't like the ACA ...
Unpublished

and is doing everything he can to tow the Republican line. But as a journalist, why not report what the rates were before the ACA? Why not report that some individuals in SW Georgia weren't even eligible for health insurance before the ACA. What are the rates for the Bronze plans instead of the Silver plans? Why not report that these are the rates before government subsidies and rebates? I thought journalism was meant to inform.

carcraft
26952
Points
carcraft 10/01/13 - 07:50 am
3
0
Rates are just one aspect of

Rates are just one aspect of an individuals health care bill. You need to look at the deductibles and co pays. I could sell health insurance at a rate of $10/month and make money! Just set the ca pays and deductibles way higher than the average for an age groups general total expendatures then set the reimbursement rate very low. In Essenes this is Obama care for the young. Then take the excess money and use it to fund care for the expensive elderly. People are going to be in shock when bills come after using Obumercare!!!

Little Lamb
46854
Points
Little Lamb 10/01/13 - 07:55 am
2
0
Econ 101

If an area has high demand (i.e., "large proportion of people with chronic disease") and low supply (i.e., "lack of competition among medical providers"), then that area has the classic formula for high prices. A single payer socialized medical system will correct all this inequity, won't it, Mr. Miller?

Bizkit
32852
Points
Bizkit 10/01/13 - 08:03 am
2
0
I thought across state sales

I thought across state sales of insurance was to make it more competitive? Georgia passed a law to allow it but no takers so far.
Rebates and subsidies will have to come from the taxpayer so we all still pay higher costs. It is just hide the bean under the cup so the real costs is always hiding under a moving cup. Yep that 500 billion in new taxes will help cover their costs.

carcraft
26952
Points
carcraft 10/01/13 - 08:25 am
2
0
The government collected 6

The government collected 6 years of taxes to pay for 4 years of coverage. The dolts that think there is a free lunch make me sick. Some one is paying for the free reproductive services, carrying your children on your insurance until 26, and the no preexisting illness clause. People who have health insurance pay for it in reduced coverage, increased premiums higher deductables and higher copays!

Bizkit
32852
Points
Bizkit 10/01/13 - 09:26 am
2
0
I was reading anyone who

I was reading anyone who makes over 100K will now pay more for insurance, nor would they qualify for exchanges. Oh I get all qualify for the insurance just if you make over 100K you get none of the subsidies.

Bizkit
32852
Points
Bizkit 10/01/13 - 09:07 am
2
0
So all the uninsured who hit

So all the uninsured who hit the emergency room and we have paid for with our present system will now be "insured" and we will still pay-just more than before. But definitely the cost of health care will rise for the 20% of Americans who make over 100K. So the 15% without insurance will be subsidized with wealth redistribution of 20% of Americans.

itsanotherday1
45283
Points
itsanotherday1 10/04/13 - 08:46 am
1
0
Comment removed.

Comment removed.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 10/01/13 - 03:23 pm
0
0
Wealth redistribution is wealth redistribution is wealth redistr

Why does the government want to know more about my health these days and why do they want me to stop patronizing and doing business with existing commercial operations and doctors?

hint: justifying it b/c some folks are indigent and we are a loving and caring society isn't an explanation.

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