After two years of receiving a bonus, Georgia is not included in the latest round of federal performance awards for enrolling eligible children in government health insurance programs. A state qualifies for a federal bonus by implementing procedures to simplify enrollment and renewal to ensure that all eligible children have easier access to coverage under Medicaid and CHIP, which in Georgia is known as PeachCare.
The percentage of Georgia children who are uninsured has declined, but the state still has the fourth-highest number of kids without coverage, according to a report released Wednesday. In raw numbers, Georgia has nearly 220,000 children who are uninsured, trailing only Texas, California and Florida, said the report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families. All three of those states have much higher populations than Georgia.
While the number of uninsured children nationwide is at a historic low, Georgia continues to rank 48th in the country when it comes to making sure children are covered by health insurance. Georgia’s numbers are dropping, just not as fast as those of larger states.
More than 40,000 children of state employees can now get federally subsidized health insurance, thanks to new rules allowing low-income state workers to enroll them in PeachCare for Kids. State officials expect moving eligible kids into the State Children’s Health Insurance Program will save Georgia $32 million next year.
The debate over how to raise the federal debt ceiling could have big repercussions in Georgia. Political experts say, any deal to raise the limit likely would include big cuts to federal spending. Georgia relies on federal spending for everything from road construction to energy assistance.