"These gaps really make it so that Georgians can't afford needed health care. If they receive health care, they're left with medical debt, or they have to make really tough…
Thanks to Medicaid, Ashley can enjoy the end of summer vacation with her kids without having to worry about health care. Ashley is a mother of three children living in Atlanta and all of her children have health care coverage through Peachcare for Kids.
“[Without Medicaid] I wouldn’t be able to take my kids to the doctors office, I would have to go to the ER each time and there’s only so much they can do there. Medicaid is truly a blessing.”
Medicaid covers the immunizations that Ashley’s kids need before school begins and her youngest child has received care for a heat rash without forcing Ashley to rush to the emergency room.
Ashley and her children live in Fulton county where Medicaid and PeachCare cover 33% of children. (PeachCare for Kids is Georgia’s name for the Child Health Insurance Program, also called CHIP.) Medicaid and CHIP guarantee that essential services like immunizations, developmental screenings, dental care, check-ups, and prescriptions are covered so kids can grow up healthy and successful.
Ashley’s children are three of the 1.3 million children in Georgia who are covered by Medicaid or PeachCare. Unfortunately, another 160,000 children in Georgia remain uninsured despite being eligible for coverage through the two programs. One successful strategy to enroll more children in coverage is for states like Georgia to close the Medicaid coverage gap.
Georgia is among the toughest states for parents to qualify for Medicaid coverage because our state policy makers have not extended health insurance to adults making less than $12,060 (for an individual), However, new data demonstrates that when coverage options exist for parents, children are more likely to be covered as well. In states that have extended Medicaid coverage to all low-income parents, the children’s uninsured rate fell from 6.1% to 4%; in states that did not, like Georgia, the children’s uninsured rate has increased.
In Fulton County, where Ashley and her three children live, 42,103 parents and other adults are stuck in the coverage gap but could be covered if Georgia’s policy makers extended insurance to this group. Gaining coverage would increase the likelihood that all Georgia children are covered and allow parents like Ashley to take care of their health so they can focus on raising their families.
Your story is powerful! Stories help to put a human face to health care issues in Georgia. When you share your story, you help others understand the issue, its impact on Georgia, and why it’s important.
Your health care story is valuable because the reader may be your neighbor, friend, someone in your congregation, or your legislator. It may inspire others to share their stories or to become advocates. It is an opportunity for individuals who receive Medicaid or fall into the coverage gap, their family members, their physicians and concerned Georgia citizens to show that there are real people with real needs who will be impacted by the health policy decisions made by Congress and Georgia’s state leaders.
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