Millions of older adults are unable to get the dental services they need because it’s often not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the VA. Among Georgians 65 years and older, almost one in four have lost all their teeth, according to the CDC’s State Oral Health Profile. And Georgia has no dentist in 24 of its 159 counties.
The financial arithmetic from the Affordable Care Act could inadvertently undermine the safety net in Georgia, the CEO of Grady Health System said Tuesday. Grady’s chief executive, John Haupert, pointed to the health reform law’s removal of federal funding that hospitals receive for treating a large share of low-income patients.
A state health agency board gave initial approval Thursday to offering care coordination services to 450,000 Medicaid beneficiaries who have disabilities or are elderly. The proposal for the “aged, blind and disabled’’ population comes as part of the state’s move to improve care and reduce spending. Officials also announced that Georgia primary care physicians are scheduled to start receiving a pay hike for Medicaid services Nov. 1.
A new study projects that expanding Georgia's Medicaid health care program would cost the state about $2.5 billion over a decade while providing half a million uninsured Georgians with coverage. The nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that more than $33 billion in new federal money would flow into Georgia over a 10-year period.
Medicaid spending is one of the areas targeted in negotiations over reducing the federal budget deficit. Health care advocacy group Families USA says a 5 percent reduction in Medicaid funding could put $670 million in economic activity and 5,800 jobs at risk in Georgia. Georgia will spend nearly $7.5 million in federal and state money on Medicaid this fiscal year to serve roughly 1.5 million Georgians.
Georgia won't be one of the fifteen states to get a federal bonus for enrolling more kids in Medicaid and Peachcare. Public health advocates say the state could do a better job getting eligible kids publicly funded health insurance.