Georgia passes open insurance law, no one cares

May 16, 2012

A law that took effect in December would allow insurers to sell policies across state lines has no takers. The law was supposed to allow the free market to lower prices and increase choice.

A law that took effect in December last year would allow insurers to sell policies across state lines has no takers. The law was supposed to allow the free market to lower prices and increase choice, but insurers may be waiting for the Supreme Court to decide the constitutionality of the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act before adjusting their business model.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quotes Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens as being “dumbfounded” by the lack of interest in the law that could allow Georgia consumers to buy health plans that meet the less stringent requirements of other states.

Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City, who sponsored the legislation, blames the apparent lack of interest on the wait-and-see attitude that the Supreme Court case is having on healthcare reform. Insurers may be reluctant to overhaul their business processes before the expected ruling in June.

The law applies to the individual market, not to Georgians who are insured through their employers. If the law plays out as intended, it would allow an insurer to offer any other state plan to Georgia’s private market customers.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says four other states have enacted such a laws, but they have not produced any new insurance products either.

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