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Friday, November 22, 2013 - 9:06am

Group Says 60,000 Georgians Will Pay More For Health Insurance

Sixty thousand of Georgia’s nearly 10 million residents will see the cost of their healthcare coverage increase under the Affordable Care Act. That’s according to a report released Thursday by the liberal healthcare consumer watchdog Families USA.

Families USA says 0. 6 percent of Georgians will have their health coverage terminated because it doesn’t meet the new standards of the Affordable Care Act.

Andy Miller, CEO and Editor of Georgia Health News says that means about 60 thousand Georgians will see the cost of their healthcare increase.

So, who would see their healthcare costs go up?

“This is a person as an individual making maybe $50 thousand dollars a year,” said Miller. “They may be self-employed. They may work for a company that doesn’t offer health insurance. A lot of these folks are kind of trying to make ends meet on a daily or weekly basis.”

President Obama has asked that state insurance commissioners allow health insurance companies to continue existing plans for another year to give consumers more time to shop around. State Health Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens has agreed to the plan. But Miller says some Georgians may decide to pay the federal penalty for not having insurance, rather than pay higher premiums once that year is up.

Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA, doesn’t minimize the impact on those consumers, but he does point out that only a tiny fraction of consumers are at risk. He says millions will get access to quality healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

David Howard, associate professor at Emory University’s School of Public Health, says not everyone wins under the new plan.
“When you require community rating for insurance plans, when you require plans to be more generous, there are going to be some people who are going to have to pay more,” said Howard. “And even if it’s a small proportion of the population, that doesn’t make it any less comforting to them.”
Families USA found that nationwide, 71 percent of consumers with individual coverage are eligible for federal premium subsidies or expanded Medicaid.
In Georgia, Governor Deal decided not to expand Medicaid. Even though the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost for the first three years, Deal is worried the state will end up paying more over the long term.

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