About Georgia Access
Georgia Access is the state’s program for Georgians to shop for and enroll in health insurance. With Georgia Access, Georgians will find many options to enroll in high-quality, comprehensive, and affordable health insurance.
In February 2023, Governor Brian P. Kemp designated OCI Commissioner John F. King to lead Georgia’s transition from a State-based Exchange on the Federal Platform (SBE-FP) to a State-based Exchange (SBE). During Open Enrollment 2024, Georgia Access will operate as a SBE-FP, and Georgians should continue to shop for and enroll in health insurance coverage as they do today on the Federally-facilitated Exchange, also known as HealthCare.gov. During Open Enrollment 2025, Georgia Access will be a SBE, which means Georgians can visit GeorgiaAccess.gov to shop for, compare, and directly enroll in health insurance coverage.
If you want to learn about your health coverage options or just want to understand the advantages of health coverage, we can help. Georgia Access is here to connect Georgians with the resources you need to find affordable health insurance coverage. It’s part of our ongoing commitment for all Georgians to get covered and get healthy.
Improving the Health Care Landscape in Georgia
According to September 2023 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 1.2 million Georgians without health insurance. That’s too many of our citizens left to worry about finances when they’re impacted by a medical concern — and it doesn’t have to be that way.
Since the passage of the Patients First Act in 2019, Georgia has worked to lower the cost of premiums and reduce the number of uninsured Georgians. Under Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and OCI Commissioner John F. King’s leadership, Georgia has seen a decrease in premiums statewide and an increase in the number of plans offered across the state. A Reinsurance Program was also implemented in 2022 under a Section 1332 Waiver. Georgia Access allows Georgia to continue improving the quality and quantity of health insurance options available in the state.
Governor Kemp and Commissioner King have taken the following steps to establish an SBE and improve the health care landscape for Georgians:
Georgia SBE Milestones
The following outlines the key milestones in Georgia’s journey to launch an SBE.
- March 27, 2019: Governor Kemp signs the Patients First Act authorizing the state to pursue innovative strategies for providing residents with access to high-quality, comprehensive, and affordable health insurance.
- December 19, 2019: Georgia submits application for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
- November 1, 2020: Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) grants approval of Georgia’s 1332 Waiver providing authority to implement a Reinsurance Program and move its market off the federal exchange.
- January 1, 2022: Office of the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner (OCI) launches a Reinsurance Program aimed at lowering the cost of premiums and expanding coverage options for Georgians.
- November 1, 2022: Georgia launches a Public Awareness Campaign to encourage Georgians to enroll in health coverage during Open Enrollment 2023.
- February 1, 2023: Senate Bill 65 was introduced in the Georgia Legislature granting OCI authority to establish and operate an Exchange.
- February 13, 2023: Governor Kemp submits an SBE Letter of Intent to CMS.
- February 14, 2023: OCI Commissioner King submits the SBE Blueprint Application and Readiness Letter.
- May 2, 2023: Senate Bill 65 signed into law by Governor Kemp.
- July 27, 2023: CMS grants approval for the State of Georgia to operate an SBE-FP Open Enrollment 2024 and an SBE Open Enrollment 2025.
- August 3, 2023: OCI Commissioner King responds to the letter from CMS granting conditional approval.
- November 1, 2023: OCI launches Georgia Access as an SBE-FP ahead of Open Enrollment 2024.
- November 1, 2024: OCI will launch Georgia Access as an SBE ahead of Open Enrollment 2025.
Improving Health Care Access and Affordability
Georgia has made significant strides in improving access to affordable, quality insurance across the state for consumers since the Patients First Act was signed in 2019.
- Premiums have decreased an average of 10.1% statewide for 2024 due to the Reinsurance Program. This represents an average annual savings of $847 for Georgians shopping in the individual market.
- Rural communities have seen the greatest impact. In rural counties where premiums are highest, premiums have been reduced by over 25%.
- There is increased competition in the market. In 2019, Georgia had only four insurance companies offering plans in the individual market. For 2024, there are over twice as many with 10 companies offering plans across the state.
- Consumers have more options. In 2019, 74% of Georgia’s counties had only one insurance company to choose from in their area. For 2024, 100% of counties have at least two options, and 99% of all counties have three or more companies offering plans. This means dramatically greater access and choice across our state, especially in rural and underserved areas.
- Reduced premiums, expanded choice, and increased marketing and outreach have led to significant enrollment increases. In 2019, only 373,049 Georgians were enrolled in individual market plans. This has increased by over 159% today. As of August 2023, there are 967,844 Georgians enrolled in individual market coverage.