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Affordable Care Act in Georgia


352,000 Georgians sign up for Obamacare despite repeal threat

More than 352,000 Georgians have selected Affordable Care Act health insurance plans through HealthCare.gov so far since open enrollment begin Nov. 1. Open enrollment runs through Jan. 31 for 2017 coverage.
Nearly 107,000 Georgians signed up for Obamacare health plans so far

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...
How a Trump presidency will affect health care in Georgia

How a Trump presidency will affect health care in Georgia

“Obamacare is done.” That was the glum prediction late Tuesday night from Democratic political consultant James Carville, longtime ally of Hillary Clinton, as he noted the electoral math propelling Republican Donald Trump to victory in the presidential contest. Repealing the Affordable Care Act — or making severe changes to it — is expected to be on the front burner in Washington...
Individual insurance rates spiking by double digits in Georgia

Individual insurance rates spiking by double digits in Georgia

Shela Bryan, 63, has been comparing prices for individual health insurance plans since May, and she can’t believe what she;s seeing. “They cost a thousand, $1,200 [a month], and they have a deductible of $6,000,” she said. “I don’t know how they think anyone can afford that.” Bryan, who lives in Hull, Ga., a hamlet of about 200 near Athens, was on her husband Tony&rsquo...

Georgia Chamber pitches Medicaid expansion options

— Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this report. Georgia business leaders revealed on Wednesday three Republican-friendly alternatives to expanding the state’s Medicaid program — a move that would extend health coverage to hundreds of thousands of poor Georgians and bring billions of dollars in new federal funding to the state. The proposal by a Georgia Chamber of Commerce...

Obamacare insurance to jump by double digits in Georgia next year

Georgians with health coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplace will see their premiums jump by double-digits next year. On Tuesday, the state insurance department approved a 21.4 percent increase for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Obamcare plans to be sold in 2017. Alliant, Ambetter (Peach State), Harken Health, Humana and Kaiser Permanente also all received the...

Georgia hospitals face penalties for high infection rates

Andy Miller is CEO and editor of Georgia Health News. This story was done in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than two dozen Georgia hospitals face pay cuts from the federal government for having too many avoidable patient infections and injuries, new data shows. The 30 Georgia hospitals being penalized include facilities...

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 as part of a push to increase Obamacare enrollment in Atlanta and the state, where the number of eligible but uninsured black Americans is the highest in the country. HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell visited the Iwi Fresh Garden Day Spa in southwest Atlanta first, talking to navigators who help consumers enroll...

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 Affordable Care Act’s online marketplace dropped their coverage by the end of June, federal data shows. 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...

Georgians face key health insurance decisions during open enrollment

This article was prepared in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. 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 premium costs; rising costs of deductibles...

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

This article was done in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Andy Miller is CEO and editor of Georgia Health News.Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Misty Williams contributed to this article. The percentage of people in Georgia who lack health insurance fell in 2014, mirroring a national trend linked to new coverage from...

Narrow networks common with Obamacare insurance

This story was done in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Andy Miller is the CEO and editor of Georgia Health News. Georgia had the highest percentage of “narrow’’ medical provider networks in the 2014 Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges, a new report shows. Five of six Georgia silver exchange plans...

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

This article was done in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Andy Miller is CEO and editor of Georgia Health News. 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...

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

Staff writers Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy and freelance writer Virginia Anderson contributed to this report. 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...

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,...
Georgians who found Obamacare — and may lose it

Georgians who found Obamacare — and may lose it

CITY: Ellenwood OCCUPATION: Hair stylist 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,&rdquo...

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...

Obamacare ruling could kill coverage for 413,000 in Georgia

Staff writers Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy contributed to this article.This article was prepared in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Danny Wilson figures he’d probably be dead if it weren’t for Obamacare. Once healthy and strong enough to “rassle a bear,” Wilson, 60, suffered a stroke in January that...

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

This story was done in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. 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...

430,000 Georgians could lose Obamacare insurance

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 — not the...

Nearly 500,000 Georgians could lose Obamacare insurance

A Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare expected next month could cost Georgia taxpayers billions over 10 years, according to a new analysis by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and by the Urban Institute. If the court rules against the government in King v. Burwell, nearly half-million people in Georgia may lose their new health insurance — and the $17.5 billion in tax credits they would have...
Obamacare enrollment soars in Georgia

Obamacare enrollment soars in Georgia

This story was done in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Georgia experienced one of the biggest spikes in Obamacare health coverage sign-ups nationwide this year — up 71 percent from the federal insurance marketplace’s first year of operation, federal data shows. Roughly 541,000 Georgians enrolled in Affordable Care...
Georgia weighs Medicaid experiment (but not expansion)

Georgia weighs Medicaid experiment (but not expansion)

WSB-TV reporter Lori Geary contributed to this report. 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 struggling rural hospitals and its big “safety net” hospitals like Grady Memorial in Atlanta. The outlines of the...
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

This story was done in collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. The first tax season with Obamacare in full effect has forced many taxpayers to deal with inaccurate documents, unexpected penalties and refund checks far smaller than they had counted on. It’s the first time millions of Americans, including roughly 300,000 Georgians...
The red state solution on Medicaid: Georgia’s not part of it

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

The reporting and writing of this article were part of a collaboration with Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. LITTLE ROCK — A growing number of red states are intensely debating — and some actively pursuing — Republican-friendly ways to extend health insurance to their poorest citizens under the Affordable Care Act, a law they&rsquo...