Beginning July 1st, insurers in Georgia will be able to sell health insurance policies available across state lines. Other states have been considering similar laws but Georgia is the first to pass such a law. The issue of inter-state insurance policies has been hotly debated for some time now.
Critics of the law argue that it will put consumers at risk as most out of state insurance policies that will be up for sale will not meet the standard of Georgia’s strict regulations. On the other hand, supporters of the law argue that the abundance of competition will drive down insurance prices.
Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner, Ralph Hudgens, is being tasked with the mission to come up with new regulations that will govern the incoming policies. Such an endeavor will take several months to complete. In the meantime, citizens may be at risk of purchasing watered down insurance policies that do not provide adequate protection.
The law will only have an effect on individual policies, which account for 4% of the state’s health insurance market. It is unclear how many insurers will be adopting out of state policies. The largest insurers in the state are awaiting new regulations before they set foot in the new marketplace.
Eighteen other states are currently considering implementing similar laws that would allow citizens to purchase inter-state insurance policies. Georgia is the first to actually pass such a law and will serve as an example to those interested.