The recession of 2008 took a toll on the nation’s economy. Many businesses were forced to make cuts to the benefits they offered employees in an attempt to offset the economic downturn. Despite reports that the recession ended sometime in early 2010, many are still struggling to recover.
Several businesses have not yet returned to the point where they are able to offer employees health care benefits. In Georgia, workers that do not receive coverage from their employees may have new options.
State legislators are toiling over a new bill that would allow residents to purchase policies from insurance companies beyond state borders. The law could potentially affect some 350,000 residents who currently purchase coverage through the individual market as well as the 2 million who have no kind of coverage.
Supporters of the bill say it will provide Georgians will inexpensive alternatives to high-cost policies in the state. It will also bring much needed competition to the industry, driving rates from other insurance companies down. Opponents argue that out-of-state policies are not subject to the same regulations as those found in-state. These policies could dilute the market, swelling it with stripped-down health coverage that is not adequate should serious incidences occur.
Georgia is the latest in a sleuth of states considering similar laws for interstate insurance policies. The bill will be at the mercy of legislators for some time before a decision can be reached. Amendments are likely, but it is unclear what changes would be proposed.