Health insurance in Atlanta, GA - understanding the marketplace
The healthcare exchange varies from city to city and is determined by multiple factors. Luckily for businesses in Atlanta, Georgia, the market is incredibly competitive. Legislation was signed in May 2023 stating that the state of Georgia will run its health insurance marketplace for individual coverage.
With an emphasis on medical research and progressive healthcare initiatives within the city, medical professionals are incentivized to continue to provide quality healthcare that reaches all members of the community.
Health insurance in Atlanta is primarily provided through government programs (such as Medicaid and Medicare), private insurance options, and employer-sponsored plans. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has also contributed to the growth of healthcare options in and around the metropolitan area.
Nonetheless, with Atlanta health insurance premiums costing well over $200 per month, employers have begun looking at other options for providing health care to their employees. Over the last few years, Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), have proven to be one of the most beneficial and affordable options for both employers and employees alike.
Coverage options for health insurance in Atlanta, GA
As we mentioned earlier, the competitive marketplace for health insurance in Atlanta, GA means tons of options for those looking for healthcare benefits. That being said, businesses will likely have employees with different healthcare needs. The best way to guarantee satisfaction is to give employees autonomy over their health insurance plans.
Didn’t know that was possible? Let’s take a look.
Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
HRAs have been around for a while, but have recently taken off as a solid option for businesses looking for health insurance options in Atlanta, GA.
In general, HRAs are an arrangement that allows businesses to reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses including:
- Health insurance premiums
- Routine doctor’s visits
- Hospital expenses
- Dental and vision care
- And more!
There are two main types of HRAs depending on the type of business you run: ICHRA and QSEHRA.
Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA)
An ICHRA is a healthcare plan provided by employers that allows employees to submit for reimbursements for qualified healthcare-related expenses – tax-free. An employer creates a budget when they set up their ICHRA. With this monthly budget, employees can choose a health insurance plan that works best for them. From there, the employer reimburses for health care-related expenses that are submitted each month!
Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA)
A QSEHRA is similar to an ICHRA with two big distinctions. QSEHRAs are reserved specifically for small businesses with less than 50 full-time employees. Additionally, they have reimbursement limits (where an ICHRA does not). Otherwise, the structure is essentially the same:
- Employers design their plan and set reimbursement limits.
- Employees pay for their own health insurance and other medical expenses.
- Employees provide proof of their expenses.
- Employers reimburse qualified expenses up to their reimbursement limit each month.
With the competitive nature of health insurance in Atlanta, this is a great option for small business owners. Instead of navigating the market and deciding on a group plan that won’t satisfy each of their employees, employers provide the funds and allow their employees to decide what health insurance works best for them on an individual basis! It’s a win-win.
Best Health Insurance in Atlanta, Georgia 2024 - HRAs vs. Group Plans
Still unsure about whether HRAs are the best health insurance option for your Atlanta business? We get it. Group health insurance plans feel more familiar and more established in the Atlanta marketplace than HRA plans. It might seem risky to commit to the expenses associated with getting your HRA up and running.
Nonetheless, you and your business can benefit from HRAs because:
- You control costs. You determine your budget. You determine when your costs go up.
- You customize your plan. As the employer, you get to decide what your plan looks like in a way that benefits you and your employees.
- You don’t need to stress about managing your plan. You’re not in charge of managing your HRA plan. You can hire a plan administrator to do that!
- Your employees have network flexibility. Everyone has their favorite providers. With an HRA, you give your employees the freedom to choose providers that work best for the needs of them and their families.
- Employees’ plans are transferable. If your employees switch jobs, they can bring their health insurance plans with them!
- Plans are personalized. Same with the network flexibility, employees get to select plans with coverage that best satisfies their health insurance needs.
- Employees’ needs are prioritized. The best part about using an HRA for health insurance in Atlanta is the satisfaction it brings your employees. They feel like you, as their employer, care about their healthcare. This leads to increased job satisfaction, productivity, and retention.
Other familiar health insurance plan options may include:
- Traditional Group Health Insurance – This popular type of health insurance consists of a partnership between an employer and a health insurance provider. While they often provide comprehensive coverage, these options can be expensive and limiting for employees.
- Self-Funded Health Plans – This type of health insurance is funded by the employer instead of paying premiums to a provider. While they can save money on the front end, an employer risks needing to pay out for large claims.
- Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) – These are another popular option for healthcare benefits where employees can contribute pre-taxed funds for eligible healthcare expenses. While these are tax-advantaged, employees are required to enroll in a high-deductible health plan.
- Voluntary or “Supplemental” Benefits – These are healthcare benefits offered by employers, but paid for by employees. While this may enhance the benefits offered, they come at an additional cost for employees.
To determine the best route for health insurance for your small business in Atlanta, it’s important to have a general feel for the various options available. If you need more information on finding the best fit for your business, reach out to our experts at Take Command.
How do you know if you need health insurance in Georgia?
In 2010, the Affordable Care Act mandated that all individuals be covered by health insurance. New legislation passed a few years later revoked this mandate by removing any fees associated with not being covered by health insurance.
In other words, individuals living in Atlanta do not need to be covered by health insurance in 2024. However, because healthcare benefits are one of the big considerations that employees look at when looking for employment options, we highly recommend taking a look at your options!
Frequently asked questions about health insurance in Atlanta, GA
Health insurance is one of those topics that brings up tons of questions – both for employees and employers. We’ve put together some of our favorites to help clarify health insurance options for your employees as well as HRA options for you as a business owner!
What’s the cheapest health insurance in Atlanta, GA?
Currently, Kaiser Permanente offers the cheapest health insurance in Atlanta, GA. As always, however, this depends on multiple factors including age, the number of members on your plan, and your health history.
What’s the best health insurance in Atlanta, GA?
Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia has been given a score of 85% on quality of care! This score is based upon cost, scope of coverage, and customer satisfaction.
How can I get cheap health insurance in Atlanta, GA?
Check out Atlanta’s health insurance marketplace. If your company participates in an HRA and uses a plan administrator like Take Command, you can speak to a specialist who can guide you to the cheapest coverage that fits your needs.
How do I offer an HRA for health insurance in Atlanta, GA?
After you decide to offer an HRA, you simply pick a start date, make decisions about your reimbursement limits and eligible employees, inform your employees of the change in their health coverage, and guide them through the onboarding process!
How does HRA coverage work for my Atlanta business?
If you offer an HRA for your health insurance option, your employees will enroll in an individual health care plan and submit reimbursement requests each month for their medical expenses. It’s really that easy!
What are the benefits of an HRA for business owners in Atlanta?
- Personalized plan for your employees
- Tax efficiency
- Simple and flexible design
- Budget control
If you have further questions, feel free to reach out to our team at Take Command. Our experts are well-versed in health insurance options for businesses in Atlanta and are happy to help!
Health insurance support for small businesses
Weighing options for health insurance for small businesses can be taxing to say the least. If you decide that an HRA is the right fit for your and your company, you can work with a plan administrator, like Take Command, to make sure all your boxes are checked – from beginning to end. Truly.
Working with a plan administrator can help with health insurance for small businesses by:
- Clearly outlining legal documents – including all tax and end-of-year documentation
- Onboarding employees
- HIPAA and privacy compliance
- Organized and user-friendly online admin portal
For more information on how an HRA might work for your small business, check out this article.
If you’re even considering an HRA for your small business, we’re here to answer all your lingering questions, steer you in the right direction, and get started!
2024 is your year to eliminate stress around your business’ health insurance plan!
Susanne is a copywriter specializing in the health and wellness industry. Before starting her own business, she spent nearly a decade at a marketing agency doing all of the things – advisor, copywriter, SEO strategist, social media specialist, and project manager. That experience gives her a unique understanding of how the consumer-focused content she writes flows into each marketing piece. Susanne lives in Oklahoma City with her husband and two daughters. She loves being outdoors, exercising and reading.