This year, Georgia Organics is unveiling its pilot health insurance enrollment program in Partnership with Kaiser Permanente’s Bridge Program. Farmer’s meeting the Bridge Program eligibility requirements can receive up to 24 months of free health insurance coverage under the KFIP GA Gold 500/20 Plan or Signature Gold 500/20, participate in free AgAware training, attend the Georgia Organics Annual Conference and contribute valuable insight to the future of this program as the inaugural 2018 Health Insurance Farmer Cohort.
While the program is limited geographically and by income level, it serves as a useful pilot as Georgia Organics continues to develop opportunities for affordable health insurance that we hope to take to farmers statewide.
The largest barrier farmers point to in obtaining health insurance is cost. New research out of the University of Vermont indicates that almost half of farmers and ranchers are concerned that they will have to sell some or all of their farm assets to address health related costs.
Georgia Organics is committed to better understanding the health insurance marketplace and how to make it work for farmers in Georgia. This includes research in partnership with academics, such as Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, advocacy for expansion of Medicaid in the state, and innovative partnerships that can address health insurance costs in unique ways.
Open enrollment for 2018 coverage in the marketplace begins November 1, 2017 and ends December 15, 2017. For those that are interested in exploring coverage options, there are resources to assist in the process, including resources to determine what, if any, subsidies you may qualify for.
Georgians for a Healthy Future, an organization that provides outreach, education and engagement with Georgians and community organizations, offers tools for individuals navigating the marketplace.
Check out their video series and download their “Get Insured. Stay Insured” toolkit which offers information on the insurance enrollment process as well as how to effectively use your health insurance. Topics and templates include:
- Application Guide
- Budgeting insurance costs
- Finding a primary care provider
- Tax credits worksheets