Georgia is uniquely positioned to win with a new benefits trend that's changing the way we talk about employee health insurance. The new model, called the individual coverage HRA (ICHRA), brings more flexibility and control for Georgia employers and more choice and personalization for Georgia workers. Here's why the state is at the forefront of this new trend and how Georgia businesses are using ICHRA.
As a quick refresher, the individual coverage HRA, a new type of HRA that was new January 2020, allows employers of all sizes to reimburse for individual health plans that their employees choose based on their needs. Reimbursements for premiums and medical expenses are tax-free for everyone and give employers more flexibility and control over their benefits plans and employees more choice and personalization.
Why Georgia ICHRAs have so much potential
Individual coverage HRAs are most successful in locations with strong individual health insurance markets. Factors like individual premium pricing vs group pricing, carrier competition, the number of plans available and stability come into play here. Georgia checks all of the boxes.
There are 271 individual health insurance plans in Georgia to choose from.
Five new carriers are planning to enter the Georgia individual exchange for 2022, bringing the state’s total to 11. Three had dropped out in previous years – Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Cigna – and two are new to the market altogether, Bright Health and Friday Health Plans. These carriers will be joining others that have already been operating in the Georgia market, including Alliant, Ambetter, Blue Cross, CareSource, Kaiser Permanente and Oscar.
The individual insurance market in Georgia is also bolstered by the recent news that CMS approved the state's request to lower individual insurance premiums by establishing a reinsurance program that will bring more affordable options.
Atlanta's individual health insurance is so affordable that we put together a guide just for Atlanta to show the options employees would have on the individual health insurance market. Check it out here.
How Georgia business owners are structuring their ICHRAs
On average, Georgia business owners are reimbursing their employees $479.05 each month, which is well above the lowest cost bronze plan for the state ($335.35/single) and the lowest cost silver plan ($371.75/single). In contrast to group plans, where employers typically pay 70% of the cost of a bronze plan and the rest comes out of the employees' paychecks, ICHRA users in Georgia are covering 143% of premium costs for their employees.
What individual health insurance carriers are available in Georgia?
2022 will have eleven carrier options!
- Blue Cross
- Bright Health
- Friday Health Plans
- Kaiser Permanente
- United Healthcare
What types of companies are opting for ICHRA?
Businesses of all sizes are offering ICHRAs and types of companies using ICHRA run the gamut! Associations, churches and non profits together take the lead spot, but blue collar service industry, tech, healthcare services, household workers, and those in the hospitality industry trend high as well.
Want to learn more about the Georgia ICHRA opportunity?
We are here for all the questions. Chat with us in the bottom right hand corner of your screen and our team of experts will fill you in on the Georgia ICHRA trend, how its changing the way we talk about health benefits in the state (and nationwide!), and how it could benefit your business or client.
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I wrote this blog because I care about ideas (big and little) that can help fix our healthcare system. I used to work on projects for Kaiser Permanente and the Parkland Health & Hospital System so I've seen the system inside and out. It's so important that consumers keep up with industry shifts and changing health insurance regulations. I'm also Take Command Health's Content Editor and a busy mom. Learn more about me and connect with me on our about us page. Thanks!