Thousands of Georgians looking for new health insurance coverage

Friday Health Plans announced this week it is winding down operations in the seven states where it operates, because it is stretched for cash.

ATLANTA — The Georgia Insurance Commissioner’s Office has shut down a health insurance company in the state, leaving tens of thousands of people looking for new coverage.

Friday Health Plans announced this week it is winding down operations in the seven states where it operates, because it is stretched for cash.

Heather Romanowski is one of the nearly 37,000 Georgians who now have until July 31 to find a new insurance company.

“(I’m feeling) panic,” she said. “I’ve already reached my deductible for the year, and I’ve been diagnosed with a rare condition and it’s going through the paperwork thing to get this special therapy that I need. If I start over with another insurance company, am I going to lose? Am I going to have to start all over again?”

While Insurance Commissioner John King’s office is working to help people, Romanowski said this news came at the wrong time for him.

“The frustrating thing is that I go out of the country for the rest of the month,” she said. “So that only gives me like a couple of days to find new health insurance or less than 30 days once I get back.”

Insurance expert John Miller, with Sterling Seacrest Pritchard, explained Commissioner King put Friday Health Plans in receivership to protect customers.

This came after concerns that the company didn’t have enough money to pay customer claims.

“We represent a lot of the physicians and surgeons in the Atlanta area and all over Georgia,” Miller said. “It would be a shame for those people to be thinking they’re rendering care and going to get reimbursed for said care, only to find out the insurance is not there. So really credit them for stepping up and taking care of that.”

As for policyholders who are affected, he recommends:

  • Hiring a broker
  • Researching the financial condition of that insurance company, or having a broker do it
  • Starting searching right away

“If they have a broker or know of a broker, contact that broker and look for alternatives through them,” Miller added. “Making fast action to this. As of June 1 you could start to enroll in new insurance. I would encourage the public not to wait.”

Friday Health Plans have been around since 2015 but entered the Georgia market just last year.

That’s when Romanowski started using the insurance company, saying they were very affordable.

“When they first started here in 2022, it was a Health Savings Plan account, and it was $80 a month for the first year,” she said. “Then this year, for 2023, it went up to $200 a month. So it’s still very affordable for me.”

Now she has until July 31 to make changes.


June 1 Special Enrollment Period Begins

July 31 Last Day to Enroll Without a Gap in Coverage

August 1 All Friday Health Plans Policies Are Terminated

September 29 Last Day of Special Enrollment Period

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