Many Georgians cannot afford health care
- About 255,000 Georgians make too little to get financial help to buy health insurance on the Healthcare.gov marketplace and do not currently qualify for Medicaid. These Georgians have incomes below the poverty line (less than $12,769 a year for an individual or $21,720 a year for a family of three) and fall into the coverage gap with no affordable health insurance options.
- Another 219,000 uninsured Georgians make slightly above the poverty line (between 100 and 138 percent of poverty). Most will qualify for premium subsidies on healthcare.gov, but they may not be able to use the coverage because of high deductibles or copayments. Medicaid does not have deductibles and has small copayments based on income. In total, over 470,000 Georgians would be able to see a health provider and not worry about facing medical debt if the state expanded Medicaid.
- 1.4 million Georgians do not have health insurance, and Georgia’s uninsured rate of 13.7 percent is third highest in the country. In rural Georgia, the uninsured rate could climb to more than 25 percent by 2026.
- Substance abuse, unmet mental health needs and chronic diseases are decimating communities statewide, exacerbated by high uninsured rates that prevent Georgians from getting care because they cannot afford it.
Georgians need health coverage to stay healthy
- Georgians who could gain coverage under Medicaid expansion earn below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $17,600 for an individual, $23,790 for a family of two and $29,970 for a family of three.
- Sixty percent of people who would be covered by Medicaid expansion are working but often not offered health benefits through their job or do not get paid enough to afford their employer plan. Only 41 percent of Georgia employers offer employer-sponsored health insurance.
- Closing Georgia’s coverage gap would extend health insurance to over 155,000 uninsured women. Georgia ranks among the bottom five states for women’s health insurance coverage.
- Closing the coverage gap could extend health insurance to nearly half of Georgia’s uninsured veterans, expanding coverage to 32,000 uninsured veterans and military spouses in our state.
- Closing the coverage gap would help address racial disparities in health care access and outcomes. About 36 percent of Georgians in the coverage gap are Black, and 22 percent are Latino.
Closing coverage gap yields economic benefits for state and helps accelerate economic recovery
- For every dollar the state spends on closing the coverage gap, Georgia receives up to $9 in federal funding.
- Closing the coverage gap could create 56,000 jobs in Georgia each year and boost the state’s economic output by $6.5 billion annually.
- Closing the coverage gap could create 12,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in new economic activity in Georgia’s rural communities each year.
- Georgians are already paying federal taxes toward closing our coverage gap, but state leaders have refused billions in federal health care dollars meant to pay for Georgians’ health coverage and stabilize struggling rural hospitals.