2023 Guide to Moving to Georgia – Individual and Family, Medicare Insurance

2023 Guide to Moving to Georgia – Individual and Family, Medicare Insurance

First, we want to welcome you to the great state of Georgia! Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River and is home to a wide range of great cities and towns with almost limitless things to do and see! When you have time, we recommend you check out https://www.exploregeorgia.org/ to find popular destinations in Georgia and https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/ to learn about Georgia’s history. We are glad you found us and we hope to be able to help you with your insurance needs in Georgia. 

Health Insurance and Medicare

One of the main issues people have when moving to a new state is figuring out the medical system and the corresponding health insurance system. Both medical systems and health insurance vary widely from state to state with differing laws, regulations, companies and ways of doing things. We want to help you understand a bit about both the medical system in Georgia as well as the health insurance landscape.

For both Individual/Family and Medicare, moving or changing states (or even counties) triggers a special enrollment event that allows you to change plans.

For Medicare – If you tell your plan before you move, your chance to switch plans begins the month before the month you move and continues for 2 full months after you move. If you tell your plan after you move, your chance to switch plans begins the month you tell your plan, plus 2 more full months.

For Individual and Family plans – You may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period if you move to: New home in a new ZIP code or county, The U.S. from a foreign country or United States territory. Or, move to or from: Place you attend school (if you’re a student), Place you both live and work (if you’re a seasonal worker), Shelter or other transitional housing. Moving only for medical treatment or staying somewhere for vacation doesn’t qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. You must prove you had qualifying health coverage for one or more days during the 60 days before your move. You don’t need to provide proof if you’re moving from a foreign country or United States territory.

Medical System – Hospitals

Knowing about your states hospital system is important. Georgia has many good hospitals but the Emory hospital system is consistently ranked the highest with 3 of their hospitals appearing in the top 5. Other notable mentions are Northside, Piedmont, and Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Georgia had thirteen hospitals that met the U.S. News standards. Georgia also has the highest ranked children’s hospital in the Southeast, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. You can read about the latest rankings here: https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/ga and https://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/southeast/children

Medical System – Doctors

There are many options when looking to choose new Primary Care and Specialist doctors when you move to a new state. We recommend you take the following steps to find the best doctor at your new locations:

  • Ask neighbors, friends, and family for recommendations!
  • Check Google for doctors and offices with good reviews.
  • Check U.S. Health for doctors and reviews: https://health.usnews.com/doctors/atlanta-ga
  • Call and visit a doctors office to see if they are a good fit.

Keep in mind that you should find out if the doctors is affiliated with a certain hospital and what insurance they take. You need to be as specific as possible when asking a doctors office what insurance they take. If you need individual and family insurance you need to make sure to ask what “Obamacare” or “Marketplace” plans they take.  

Health Insurance in Georgia – Individual and Family

If you have always had group insurance then Individual and Family insurance in Georgia will be a new experience for you. Georgia’s individual market is made up of 10 insurance carriers offering major medical insurance plans. There are many other companies offering short-term or indemnity type plans but most people want a major medical, qualified health plan. Be careful as we have noticed that many of the short-term or indemnity type plans are not fully explained by their representing agents. Also be careful as many online advertisements will get your phone number or email sold to a call center!

Major medical, qualified health insurance plans are the type of plans that most people want and need. These individual and family plans are the most comprehensive available, coving preexisting conditions and the 10 Essential Health Benefits:

  • Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization (like surgery and overnight stays)
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care (but adult dental and vision coverage aren’t essential health benefits)

While some other plans, like short-term plans, can be useful for certain situations, most people are looking for comprehensive medical coverage! Contact us if you need assistance with Medicare and/or Health Insurance plans in Georgia

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