For 10 years, Georgia state leaders have blocked access to affordable health coverage via Medicaid to almost 600,000 Georgians, Knetta Adkins with Georgians for a Healthy Future said last month.
Georgians for a Healthy Future is spearheading Cover Georgia, a new coalition in support of expanding Medicaid in our state to cover the uninsured. As part of this on-going effort, we will explore what is at stake for Georgia families and consumers as policymakers weigh this option in the coming months.
In 2014, Georgia consumers with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL), or roughly between $11,170 and $44,680 for an individual, will be eligible for tax credits to purchase health insurance through the new federally facilitated health insurance exchange. Adults with incomes below 100% FPL, however, will not be eligible for these tax credits. This is because the Affordable Care Act envisions individuals with incomes this low becoming eligible for Medicaid through an expansion of that program.
If Georgia fails to adopt this expansion, this would create a “coverage gap,” leaving many Georgians with no options for affordable health coverage. This infographic helps explain how this would play out for two Georgians: Jan would make too much money to be eligible for Medicaid but would not make enough to access tax credits to purchase affordable private health insurance (a typical health insurance policy would consume nearly her entire income). Meanwhile, John would be able to purchase insurance in the exchange with a tax credit, making health insurance reasonable for his budget. This is simply not fair. All Georgians should have a pathway to affordable health care coverage. To learn more about Cover Georgia and to join our efforts, click here.