A new provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act known as medical loss ratio (MLR) provides greater value for consumers by requiring insurance companies to not only disclose how they spend their individual policyholders’ premium dollars but also dedicate at least 80 percent of those paid premium dollars to direct medical care and quality improvement programs for their customers.

Last spring, Georgia’s insurance commissioner, however, requested leniency on behalf of Georgia’s insurance companies to phase in this provision over three years rather than implement it immediately. This request was a tremendous disservice to the Georgians currently insured through individual policies.

Georgia Watch, along with Georgians for a Healthy Future, asked the US Department of Health and Human Services to deny Georgia’s request. We issued public comments to HHS and we authored an issue brief made available to the public. Luckily, our voice was heard, and a middle ground was struck. The Insurance Commissioner’s Office can still phase in the MLR rules, but at a much faster rate, which is a benefit to all Georgia policyholders with individual insurance.  Read more

June 1, 2011

It will soon be cheaper and easier for Georgians to enroll in the federal high-risk insurance plans that provide crucial coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. In an effort to spark enrollment in this key provision of the Affordable Care Act, Health and Human Services officials announced Monday that premiums in Georgia will drop by 15.5 percent. Additionally, consumers will no longer need to provide a rejection letter from private insurers, as previously required. Read more

April 12, 2011

Georgia’s legislative women’s caucus will again crowd the walls of the Senate in protest of a bill poised to strip essential coverage from health insurance, coverage that helps protect Georgia women.

House Bill 47, which was introduced by Representative Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), would allow insurance companies to sell individual health insurance plans in Georgia that don’t include the basic consumer protections and minimum medical benefits that are currently required by Georgia law, as long as the insurance policy is offered in another state. Read more