New laws go into effect in Georgia

New laws go into effect in Georgia

ATLANTA, Ga. (WTOC) - The new year brings in more than just New Year’s resolutions. It also brings some new laws in Georgia. Changes include better access to telemedicine, the opening of a new business court for the state, and an increase in the amount of money you can write off for a college fund for your children.

Starting in 2020, your insurance can no longer charge more for telehealth services if your insurance plan covers the same services in-person. The new law, SB 118, increases access to healthcare by allowing patients to use their health insurance for more than just in-person visits.

If you’re saving for your children’s college through a 529 plan, HB 266 allows you to deduct more from your taxable income. Starting this year, you can write off $4,000 per child if you file alone and $8,000 if you file jointly with a spouse.

Another big change involves the state’s child abuse registry. In 2020, it will only include credible abusers who are 18 or older. Previously, the law included people 13 or older. It also makes state requirements stricter to get an abuser on the list.

The state opens it business court this year as well. A recently-appointed judge will hear only business cases starting in August of this year. This prevents contract disputes from getting held up in the state court system. About half of the 50 states have a court like this.

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