NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Out-of-State Health Insurance Available in Georgia

May 19, 2011

Georgia's sole proprietors and self-employed will be able to buy out-of-state health insurance policies under legislation signed by Governor Nathan Deal, says the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Business groups supported the bill as an affordable health insurance alternative for small business owners.

  • "One of the reasons it's so hard for them is that state law forces them to buy Georgia-based health plans, even though they might get a better deal or better coverage by going out of state," says Kyle Jackson, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.
  • "Small business owners have the freedom to shop around for office supplies and equipment. They should be able to shop around for health insurance, too."

The bill drew opposition in the General Assembly from lawmakers who warned that allowing out-of-state policies to be sold in Georgia could deprive the state of the ability to require insurers to cover preventive health care.

Critics argued that the availability of out-of-state policies would render impossible the enforcement of state mandates to cover preventive screenings, including mammograms, that lead to lower treatment costs.

Source: Dave Williams, "Gov. Deal Inks Out-of-State Insurance Option," Atlanta Business Chronicle, May 13, 2011.

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