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Affordable Care Act in Georgia


Nearly 107,000 Georgians signed up for Obamacare health plans so far

More than 100,000 Georgians have selected health coverage through the Obamacare insurance exchange since open enrollment began Nov. 1, federal data released Wednesday shows. Nationwide, 2.1 million Americans have signed up for coverage through HealthCare.gov, more than had signed up at this time last year, said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. “I hear from people...

Georgia ranks among unhealthiest states in the nation

The state of Georgia’s health improved slightly over the past year, though it remains among the most unhealthy states in the nation, a new study shows. The Peach State slipped from 45 to 46 in a ranking of 50 states and Washington, D.C., released by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund on Wednesday. The group’s 2015 scorecard examines the state of health system performance in five key areas...

Obamacare insurance premiums on the rise in Georgia

Amanda Warren wasn’t sold on Obamacare, even though it helped her gain health insurance for the first time for her young adult daughter, Briana, who has autism. This year, with a nearly 60 percent increase in her family’s premium for the same policy that the family had last year, Warren said she’s become “the poster child for not-so-good” experiences with the Affordable...

Georgia expand Medicaid? ‘Stranger things have happened’

The acting chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said during a visit to Atlanta on Wednesday that the agency would not “meddle” with Georgia or any state considering how to extend coverage to the uninsured poor, but that CMS is open to working with states that may ultimately decide to expand Medicaid. “Because this is a state initiative, I don’t think...

Federal health boss visits Atlanta, pushes Obamacare

The head of the Department of Health and Human Services made two stops in Atlanta on Friday HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell visited the Iwi Fresh Garden Day Spa in southwest Atlanta first, talking to David Branch, who works for InsureGA.org, had a simple word for Burwell: jargon. “They don’t understand it,” Branch told Burwell. Burwell responded that HHS has been working on simpler...

Search for Georgia health care solutions won’t look at Medicaid

Concerned about the growing lack of health care access across the state, one of the state’s largest pro-business groups is stepping in to launch a nine-month study to come up with solutions to what is becoming a health care crisis, particularly for those in rural areas. The Georgia Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with partners such as the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, the Georgia...

Nearly one in four Georgians with Obamacare insurance drop coverage

Nearly one in four Georgians who bought health insurance for 2015 through the The decline mirrors a similar decrease throughout the first year of HealthCare.gov in 2014. Experts and advocates say a number of factors could be contributing to the drop-off in coverage. People get jobs and insurance through their new employers. Some get married and get insurance through a spouse. It’s a challenge...

Georgians face key health insurance decisions during open enrollment

If you have health insurance — whether it’s Medicare, Obamacare or coverage from your employer — you have some decisions to make. Open enrollment season is upon us, and the big things to look for this year include “Often people kind of passively go along with what they had before, and they don’t realize that their premiums may have gone up,” said...

Census: Fewer Georgians lack health insurance, but state still lags

The percentage of people in Georgia who lack health insurance fell in 2014, mirroring a national trend linked to new coverage from the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday. But Georgia’s percentage of people without coverage last year was the fourth-highest in the nation, trailing only Texas, Alaska and Florida. Georgia’s 3-point drop to 15.8 percent...

Narrow networks common with Obamacare insurance

Georgia had the highest percentage of Five of six Georgia silver The 83 percent of Georgia plans having narrow networks surpassed that of all other states, the researchers found. Health insurers Narrow networks were on the rise before Georgia’s narrow network rate was followed by Florida’s 79 percent; Oklahoma, with 78 percent; California, with 75 percent; and Arizona...

Two-thirds of Georgia hospitals facing Medicare penalties for excessive readmissions

Medicare plans to fine two-thirds of Georgia hospitals for having too many patients return within a month for additional care, federal data show. The 67 percent of Georgia hospitals facing penalties is higher than the national average of 54 percent, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis. The readmission penalties, part of the Affordable Care Act, encourage hospitals to pay closer...

Georgia’s Obamacare stalemate deepens

Now that President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law has twice been upheld by the nation’s highest court, Georgia’s state and federal leaders are coming to the begrudging recognition that the legislation won’t be changed any time soon. But the well-dug trenches remain unmoved: Most Democrats insist on a Medicaid expansion in the state as the only path forward. Most Republicans...

Georgia reacts to Obamacare decision

“Today’s ruling is a big win and a big relief for health care consumers in Georgia. There is still work to do, however, to ensure that all Georgians have a pathway to coverage.” — Cindy Zeldin, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future “Today’s ruling doesn’t change the fact that Obamacare is a disaster and should be entirely repealed. …...

Supreme Court hands Obama a big win on Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to uphold a pillar of Obamacare is a “loss for everyone who cares about the Constitution,” as one leading Georgia Republican put it. Or it is a sign that the Affordable Care Act is settled law that “has now been woven into the fabric of America,” as President Obama said. In a 6-3 ruling, the court said the tax credits...

Supreme Court hands Obama big win on Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to uphold a pillar of Obamacare is a “loss for everyone who cares about the Constitution,” as one leading Georgia Republican put it. Or it is a sign that the Affordable Care Act is settled law that “has now been woven into the fabric of America,” as President Obama said. In a 6-3 ruling, the court said the tax credits that make Obamacare...

What the Obamacare ruling means to you

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling today on the Obamacare tax credits is expected to have little impact on the Affordable Care Act or the roughly 500,000 Georgians who have obtained insurance through the law. That's because the court upheld the law's grant of tax credits to millions of Americans. The credits were intended to help people on the individual insurance market -- chiefly people who don't have...

Who’s Hiring?

By Shannon Adams Syfan Logistics, based in Gainesville, ships poultry, seafood, candy, cereal and soft drinks for some of the country’s biggest food companies. In the last four years, the delivery company has grown from a little-known busi-ness to an operation conducting more than $80 million in sales and garnering na-tional attention, said Greg Syfan, president of Syfan Logistics. In 2015,...

Georgia leaders, experts weigh in on Obamacare

King v. Burwell provides an historic opportunity for a bipartisan “Obamacare do-over” to finally address fundamental problems that make health insurance so expensive. Concern over the loss of exchange tax credits dominates most media stories, yet every major conservative alternative being discussed in Congress would replace the illegal credits with tax credits that would not be limited...

Georgians who found Obamacare — and may lose it

CITY: OCCUPATION: Angel Howard never had insurance before enrolling in Obamacare in November 2013. Despite the computer crashes and headaches of the first open enrollment period, Howard said she has felt grateful every day that she has insurance. With an annual income of about $20,000 and two daughters in college, her household budget is “tight. I mean really tight,” she said. Insurance...

Obamacare ruling could kill coverage for 413,000 in Georgia

BY THE NUMBERS Danny Wilson figures he’d probably be dead if it weren’t for Once healthy and strong enough to “rassle a bear,” Wilson, 60, suffered a stroke in January that forced him to quit his job as a beer distribution manager and stripped his family of the health insurance that job provided. So, like nearly Wilson fears his new coverage may soon be ripped...

3 seismic Supreme Court rulings will soon rock our world

Mark this first day of June. By the last day of June, the United States could be a different place. The U.S. Supreme Court this month will rule in one case that could alter the social fabric of the nation by making gay marriage legal. Another decision could help secure the future of Obamacare or perhaps doom the law to failure. A third will decide whether one form of lethal injection constitutes cruel...

For millions in Georgia, a toothache not treated by Obamacare

It’s barely past opening time, and the waiting room at the Mercy Care clinic in downtown Atlanta is standing-room-only. Bruce Williams, 53, grimaces. He has a gum infection and needs surgery. But he doesn’t have dental insurance, or a job, or money. So he gets by as best he can, eating soft foods in tiny bites. “I have headaches all in the front of my head,” said...

430,000 Georgians could lose Obamacare insurance

BY THE NUMBERS More than 430,000 Georgians who bought Obamacare plans on the federal health insurance marketplace could soon lose their new coverage and the billions of dollars in tax credits they received to make it affordable. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule in June on a case, King v. Burwell, that argues tax credits shouldn’t be given to people in states where the federal government...

Nearly 500,000 Georgians could lose Obamacare insurance

A If the court rules against the government in At issue in the case are four words in the Tax credits are an integral part of the marketplace, since they enable lower-income Americans to afford an individual policy. In Georgia, 90 percent of exchange shoppers received subsidies to help them pay for their policies. The new Johnson/Urban Institute study says it will cost Georgia $1.5 billion next...
Obamacare enrollment soars in Georgia

Obamacare enrollment soars in Georgia

BY THE NUMBERS Georgia experienced one of the biggest spikes in Roughly 541,000 Georgians enrolled in Affordable Care Act health plans for 2015. More than half are new to the online marketplace and nine in 10 qualify for federal tax credits to help lower their monthly payments. Experts say the jump in enrollment reflects pent-up demand for health insurance from millions of Americans...
Georgia weighs Medicaid experiment (but not expansion)

Georgia weighs Medicaid experiment (but not expansion)

MyAJC Exclusive Without altering their opposition to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Georgia officials now say they’re thinking about asking the federal government for more Medicaid money to help the state’s The outlines of the plan are unclear. State health officials say they will seek permission from the feds to “experiment” with Medicaid...
Autism insurance coverage for children is now in Georgia law

Autism insurance coverage for children is now in Georgia law

Georgia Republicans who have long rejected the mandates in President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul managed to find one insurance requirement they could get behind. Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation Wednesday that requires insurers to provide up to $30,000 a year in coverage for children 6 and under who have been diagnosed with autism. It makes Georgia the nation’s 41st state to...

A trying tax season for filers with Obamacare plans

Making tax preparation less taxing The first tax season with It’s the first time millions of Americans, including “Oh my goodness, it’s been a nightmare,” said Lynn Pasqualetti, managing director of HLM Financial Group, an accounting and tax consulting firm in Decatur. The form for those filers who received tax credits is particularly daunting for people, she...
The red state solution on Medicaid: Georgia’s not part of it

The red state solution on Medicaid: Georgia’s not part of it

LITTLE ROCK Georgia isn’t one of those states. Indeed, the issue remains so politically toxic here that many Georgia Republicans are loath even to utter the phrase “Medicaid expansion” under the Gold Dome. But experts say it’s just a matter of time before all states expand the health care program for the poor. They point to history: as now, many states were reluctant...
Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion boosts rural hospitals

Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion boosts rural hospitals

By the numbers WARREN, Ark. It sits amid vast stretches of cotton fields and forests of neatly lined trees waiting to become lumber. Locals linger in the convenience store to chat and catch up on the latest news. A bell tolls from the county courthouse in its small downtown, home to antique shops and cafes. The town’s 25-bed hospital lies not far away — not just healing...
The red state solution: Arkansas’ ‘private option’ on Medicaid

The red state solution: Arkansas’ ‘private option’ on Medicaid

What is Medicaid? LITTLE ROCK, Ark. How could they transform the Affordable Care Act, a law they detested, into a tonic for their unhealthy and poverty-stricken state, and still honor their conservative principles? The result is Arkansas’ “private option” Medicaid expansion, an innovative — and untested — program that has extended health coverage to more...

S.C. attorney finds 4 words that could topple Obamacare

Tom Christina, the man whose close reading of the Affordable Care Act may now bring the law crashing down, says he is neither fan nor foe of Obamacare. But in 2010 the Greenville, S.C., attorney brought to light four words in the more than 900-page Affordable Care Act that could destroy one of the pillars of the law. Those words — “established by the state” —...

Supreme Court showdown for Obamacare

Obamacare tax credits The Affordable Care Act on Wednesday faces its second serious challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court: a case that could potentially strip millions of Americans — and hundreds of thousands of Georgians — of their new health insurance. The court will hear oral arguments today in the case, King v. Burwell, but is not expected to rule until June. King v. Burwell...

How to save health care in rural Georgia — without Obamacare

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court decides to upend the entire apple cart this summer, America will soon find itself divided into two separate health care systems. One will be a place where the Affordable Care Act is embraced with all its cost and complexity. The other America wants no truck with Obamacare, and so must find another way to provide health care for those who can’t afford it. That&rsquo...

Obamacare enrollment extended until Feb. 22

Americans unable to finish enrolling in Obamacare health coverage by the Feb. 15 deadline may not be too late. Those who faced long delays online or with a call center on Feb. 13, 14 or 15 while trying to sign up through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace have until Feb. 22 to finish enrolling, federal health officials said this week. The extension also applies to...

Obamacare enrollment up by 42 percent

With 10 days remaining in the open enrollment period, the number of Georgians signing up for health insurance on the Obamacare website has zoomed by 42 percent this year over last. As of Tuesday, 449,000 people had selected plans on healthcare.gov, up from 317,000 last year. “That’s pretty high, especially when the enrollment period last year was twice as long,” said...
O——care saved a life? Heart-attack city!

O——care saved a life? Heart-attack city!

Clark hoisted the maul backwards and, with a quick shift, slung it in a looping semi-circle that split a log with a resonant “Clomp!” Then he did it again. And again. And again. Clomp! Clomp! Clomp! “All right!” he said with earnest enthusiasm. “It’s good to get blood flowing again.” Then he said something that made me do a quick scan of our surroundings,...

Four days left to sign up for Jan. 1 Obamacare coverage

NEED HELP ENROLLING? Concerned about how many shopping days you have until Christmas? Here’s a more important deadline for many: You have only four shopping days to buy Obamacare health coverage if you want that insurance to begin Jan. 1. Dec. 15 marks a key deadline for newcomers to HealthCare.gov and return customers alike. Newcomers to the federal insurance marketplace who wait...
Obamacare, Take 2: new marketplace opens

Obamacare, Take 2: new marketplace opens

For five years, Tara Carino lived with the knowledge that she could soon die, and there was nothing she could do about it. A lump near Carino’s groin slowly ballooned to the size of a baseball, eventually becoming so painful she could barely walk. But as a cancer survivor, the mother of four found herself rejected again and again by insurers who considered her too sick and costly to insure &mdash...

Obamacare: need to know

What is it? Who can shop on it? So what’s considered “affordable” coverage? What insurance companies are offering plans through the marketplace? When can you start shopping? Don’t know the difference between a deductible and a co-pay? Never even heard the term “co-insurance”? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Here are a few places — although in no...
Voices on health care

Voices on health care

A year ago, as the Obama administration prepared to roll out its new health care marketplace, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution profiled 20 people on how the advent of Obamacare would affect them. Some were uninsured, some held individual-market policies, some were business owners considering whether to cover their employees. As the second open enrollment period commences, we’ve returned to several...
Rate of uninsured stays stubbornly high in Georgia

Rate of uninsured stays stubbornly high in Georgia

As a graduate student, Stacy Soulimiotis is eager to finish her thesis and her degree, then get a job. But these days she spends much of her time caring for her ailing mother, who is 78, ferrying her back and forth to doctor appointments, making sure she eats right, spending countless hours on the phone with her health insurance company. The challenges of dealing with her mother&rsquo...
Rate of uninsured stays stubbornly high in Georgia

Rate of uninsured stays stubbornly high in Georgia

As a graduate student, Stacy Soulimiotis is eager to finish her thesis and her degree, then get a job. But these days she spends much of her time caring for her ailing mother, who is 78, ferrying her back and forth to doctor appointments, making sure she eats right, spending countless hours on the phone with her health insurance company. The challenges of dealing with her mother&rsquo...
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