Thousands of Georgians are in danger of losing their healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act if they don't turn in citizenship or immigration documents by Friday. Final notices were sent out to nearly 21,000 Georgians. Only Florida and Texas have a higher number of outstanding cases. The program is administered in Georgia by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Renard Murray is the agency's regional director.
"Georgia was maybe about second or third in the nation in terms of the number of people that enrolled in the health insurance marketplace. So we're excited about that. But, of course, because that number is high, of course proportionally you have more people who may have inconsistencies with their documents.
As a second American infected with Ebola arrived Tuesday at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, an outbreak of the disease in Africa continues to spread. Nancy Writebol is one of more than 1,300 people who have contracted the disease since March.
Gov. Nathan Deal has directed his community health commissioner to do something for rural hospitals, nine of which have closed in Georgia since 2000, leaving whole communities without quick access to emergency care.
The Huffington Post recently compiled a list of several ways the South is struggling. “These 9 Maps Should Absolutely Outrage Southerners” is a breakdown of current health and economic issues affecting the region. First, the list took a look at the poverty level in the South, compared to the rest of the nation. A 2012 study from the USDA reported the South has the highest poverty rate in the U.S, with more than 17 percent of its residents living below the poverty level.
More than one 100,000 Georgians are now enrolled in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. A Senate committee voted Thursday to approve a bill that would ban those plans from covering abortions in the state. State Senator Judson Hill (R-Marietta) is sponsoring the bill. The legislation, S.B. 98, bans any state health plan from covering abortions. It also prohibits federal plans, like those subsidized under the Affordable Care Act, from offering abortion coverage in Georgia.
At least 6,859 Georgians now have health coverage through the federal marketplace. That coverage began Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act. That figure, however, may actually be much higher, according to White House Deputy Senior Advisor, David Simas. “You can expect some pretty exponential growth, because that’s what we saw nationwide,” said Simas.
Consumers doing last-minute shopping for health insurance now have one more day. The Associated Press reports the federal government has added a one-day grace period to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act to ensure coverage before Jan. 1. The deadline is now December 24th.
For you last-minute shoppers, only a few hours remain before the deadline to sign up on healthcare.gov for an insurance policy that will take effect Jan. 1. You have to enroll in a plan by Monday to have coverage starting at the beginning of 2014. Health insurers have agreed to take payment for that coverage until Jan. 10. Remember that you have until March 31 to obtain a policy before you’re subject to paying a penalty for not having coverage.
The Georgia Federation of Democratic Women is conducting a letter-writing campaign trying to convince Governor Nathan Deal to expand Medicaid in the state. They say accepting $40.5 billion from the federal government will help hundreds of thousands of Georgians without healthcare and could generate 70 thousand jobs. Federation President Gail Buckner says too many poor people in Georgia have no health insurance. She says they wait until they are really sick, then go to the emergency room, which puts pressure on hospitals who provide care with no reimbursement.