Buying short-term health plans in Georgia
- Georgia has no state-specific regulations on short-term plans and defaults to federal regs.
- Short-term plan duration can be as long as 364 days in Georgia.
- At least six insurers offer short-term plans in Georgia.
Georgia defaults to federal regulations on short-term plans
Georgia does not have state-specific regulations for short-term health insurance plans, so the state defaults to the federal regulations. Until October 2, 2018, federal regulations limited short-term health plans to three months in duration and prohibited renewals. But the Trump Administration has relaxed those rules (unless a state imposes stricter regulations, which Georgia does not).
Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner, Ralph Hudgens, has long opposed the ACA, stating in 2013 that “the problem is Obamacare, and we’re doing everything in our power to be an obstructionist.”
And state lawmakers have been generally opposed to the ACA as well. So it’s not surprising that Georgia would default to the Trump Administration’s less restrictive federal guidelines for short-term health insurance, which offer healthy enrollees an alternative to ACA-compliant coverage (at a lower cost, but also with fewer benefits).
How long can short-term plans last in Georgia?
Because Georgia does not limit short-term plans, the Trump Administration’s new regulations apply in the state. Insurers can offer short-term plans with initial terms up to 364 days and the option to renew for a total duration of up to 36 months.
Insurers can offer plans with shorter maximum durations, however, and prohibit renewal if they choose to do so.
Five insurers offer short-term coverage in Georgia
- Companion Life
- Everest Prime
- Independence American Life
- National General
- UnitedHealthcare (Golden Rule)
Louise Norris is an individual health insurance broker who has been writing about health insurance and health reform since 2006. She has written dozens of opinions and educational pieces about the Affordable Care Act for healthinsurance.org. Her state health exchange updates are regularly cited by media who cover health reform and by other health insurance experts.