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.
Health insurance companies offering Georgians individual plans are getting more time before they have to spend 80 percent of their premiums on customers’ claims. The federal Dept. of Health and Human Services adjusted the requirement over state officials' concerns about smaller insurers leaving the state if forced to meet the standard.
Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens says, he doubts the state would be able to opt-out of the federal health care law early. Some Georgia health care advocates agree, saying the provision was aimed at states like Vermont that already have near-universal coverage. A spokeswoman for Governor Nathan Deal, however, welcomed the flexibility and promised a plan.