South Georgia counties get new individual health insurance provider in 2018

South Georgia counties get new individual health insurance provider in 2018

DOUGHERTY CO., GA (WALB) - Anthem, the parent company of Blue Cross, had announced in June they were exiting Georgia's individual insurance market.

However, on Monday, State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens' office reported that BlueCross and BlueShield of Georgia agreed to offer coverage in the state insurance exchange in 2018, but only for 85 counties that would have had no other health coverage companies.

BlueCross is the sole health plan offering exchange coverage this year in all of Georgia's 159 counties. If Blue Cross had pulled out, the commissioner's office said it would have devastated Georgia's market.

"You would have had thousands of people in that 85 county area that would have either had to change jobs, or go without coverage, or move.  Really that would have been their options if they wanted health insurance," said Florence.

The insurance commissioners office reported that Ambetter, or Peach State, will be the only insurance provider in 2018 for the exchange for Dougherty, Lee, Worth, Sumter, and Mitchell counties.

BlueCross of Georgia wanted to make sure you realize individuals with employer sponsored insurance or Medicare are not impacted by these decisions.

A spokesperson for the insurance company had this to say:

For more than seven decades, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) has served consumers in the Individual market, and throughout that time our commitment remained the same: to provide access to affordable, quality health care. 

Here is a list of the Georgia counties, and the 2018 projected health insurance companies:

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