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Nearly 15,000 in Augusta will qualify for insurance subsidy, group says

Decision on Medicaid to affect who qualifies

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 3:11 PM
Last updated Thursday, July 11, 2013 1:59 PM
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More than 800,000 people in Georgia, including nearly 15,000 in Augusta, will qualify for subsidies to buy insurance under the new health care reform law, an advocacy group estimated.

Because Georgia is refusing an offer to expand Medicaid, though, many of those people will buy their own insurance instead, which would greatly expand those numbers, the group said. Without that expansion, however, many adults and poor working parents would be without any coverage because they would not qualify for help.

Families USA released its report Wednesday on its estimates of who would qualify for tax credits in Georgia and South Carolina under the Affordable Care Act. Enrollment in those plans begins in October and takes effect Jan.1.

Tax credits to help the uninsured purchase health insurance will be available for people who earn up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $46,000 a year for an individual and $94,200 for a family of four, said Ron Pollack, the executive director of Families USA. The majority of the subsidies – 54 percent – will go to people earning twice to four times the federal poverty level.

Those credits will be “reaching very deeply into the middle class” Pollack said. In Augusta, 52.7 percent of tax credit subsidies will go to people earning between two to four times the poverty rate.

The tax credit subsidies will also be largely going to working families – 88.5 percent of the credits will go to families where at least one person is employed.

Many workers in Georgia lack access to health insurance through their jobs and are among the 1.9 million – about 1 in 5 – who are uninsured in the state, said Cindy Zeldin, the executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future. Others are buying health insurance on their own now but are getting expensive policies with gaps in coverage and bewildering restrictions, she said.

The tax credit subsidies are “that game-changer for people who have really struggled with a stressful and confusing market in the past,” Zeldin said.

The report’s analysis, however, assumed that both states would participate in expanded Medicaid coverage that would cover people earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level, which neither state’s governor appears willing to do. That would mean that people earning between 100 percent and 138 percent of the poverty level, between $23,850 and $32,499 for a family of four per year, could choose to take the subsidies and purchase insurance through the state marketplaces, Pollack said.

“If Georgia and South Carolina continue to stay out of the Medicaid expansion, these numbers are likely to go up,” he said. Cover Georgia, a group pushing for the Medicaid expansion, estimates that it could cover 600,000 currently uninsured residents.

The federal health reform law, though, does not allow subsidies below the federal poverty level, where it was assumed Medicaid expansion would cover them before the U.S. Supreme Court decision last year made that voluntary for each state. Medicaid in Georgia right now does not cover childless adults and covers only parents below 50 percent of the poverty level, Zeldin said.

“For those people below poverty, if the governors don’t opt into the Medicaid expansion, they’re out in the cold,” Pollack said. “They’re not going to be able to get tax credit premium subsidies. They’re just going to be uninsured. And it is extraordinary that the poorest of the poor, the people who need coverage and care the most are the ones who are going to be most left out in the cold.”

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Little Lamb
48859
Points
Little Lamb 04/03/13 - 02:30 pm
7
4
Value?

What value to society are organizations such as this "Families USA" who do nothing but make predictions about who will do what in the future and who might qualify for what federal gimmie goody in the future? Who funds these organizations? Wouldn't it be better if these people went out and got a real job?

allhans
24818
Points
allhans 04/03/13 - 02:44 pm
4
1
I heard a little about this

I heard a little about this subsidy on CSpan..seems that it might create a problem if you happen to under state your income, then the IRS finds that you earned more than stated when you file taxes at year end... you would ber subject a hefty fine....

kmb413
533
Points
kmb413 04/03/13 - 03:02 pm
3
1
If I am reading this correctly

Those that work, get subsidies. Those that don't get nothing? I didn't know that was how Obamacare was supposed to work. I don't get a subsidy because my employer provides insurance at less than 9.5% of my pay. Interesting.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 04/03/13 - 03:40 pm
0
0
These "studies"
Unpublished

by self-serving groups are worth about as much as the moron president in office now and I'm not speaking financially.

Little Lamb
48859
Points
Little Lamb 04/03/13 - 03:51 pm
5
1
Understating Income

They ought to make everyone provide their income tax return with the subsidy application.

Tom Corwin
10706
Points
Tom Corwin 04/03/13 - 03:52 pm
7
0
kmb413, allhans

Actually, you can get a subsidy if you are unemployed - under this analysis about 11 percent of the subsidies would go to people who are not working. What is more important is annual income, whether you have access to insurance, and whether you are eligible for any government health care programs such as Medicaid or Medicare.

allhans,
I think you get in trouble underreporting your income when you apply for any government assistance program, not just this one.

Little Lamb
48859
Points
Little Lamb 04/03/13 - 08:32 pm
3
2
Thank You

I am so glad that Georgia and South Carolina chose not to expand Medicaid eligibility. It's too big already.

P.S. Mr. Corwin, thanks for editing that second paragraph.

Young Fred
20561
Points
Young Fred 04/03/13 - 10:26 pm
3
2
One has to wonder what the

One has to wonder what the cost would've been to simply provide insurance to those that don't/can't get insurance, versus bringing the total population under the mandates of Obamacare.

Alas, we may never know, a power grab like this is just to lucrative to pass by.

Truth Matters
8077
Points
Truth Matters 04/04/13 - 01:58 am
4
7
Health care

Still can't figure out why conservatives now oppose the proposal they hawked for years out of the heritage foundation...make every body pay for their own insurance and lessen the burden on taxpayers. That was their answer to health care when Bill Clinton tried to pass it. What changed? (It's good politics to oppose the guy in the WH.)

And why are power grabs only a bad thing when perceived to come from Dem's?

fatboyhog
2104
Points
fatboyhog 04/04/13 - 05:55 am
2
2
Who's going to pay?

I guess drones are going to see insurance premiums rise yet again. Someone has to pay for freebies and subsidies. I guess I'll head on to work; I owe my soul to the government store.

Shortcomment
1242
Points
Shortcomment 04/04/13 - 07:04 am
2
3
I understand

to sign up will require a person to fill out over 60 pages.
How many of the 15,000 can read enough to do that?

Shortcomment
1242
Points
Shortcomment 04/04/13 - 07:14 am
5
2
Another collection of comments

Great examples of Social-Democrat ideology.

15,000 already previously covered, so we disrupt the
medical coverage, and care of the other 184,500 in ARC.

92.4% forced to bend over for 7.6%.

People who can't or won't afford something making others pay for it.

Riverman1
93233
Points
Riverman1 04/04/13 - 08:25 am
5
2
What's becoming increasingly

What's becoming increasingly clear is the whole plan is unworkable.

Shortcomment
1242
Points
Shortcomment 04/04/13 - 08:46 am
3
2
Now the problem is

getting the Liberal Socialists to admit their pipe dream was wrong in 1994 and still is wrong in 2008-.

Young Fred
20561
Points
Young Fred 04/04/13 - 10:10 am
2
1
Truth Matters

The Heritage Foundation never advocated for anything equivalent to the frightening (at least to lovers of freedom) monstrosity that is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act!

dichotomy
37344
Points
dichotomy 04/04/13 - 12:33 pm
2
1
The phrase "tax credit

The phrase "tax credit subsidies" is kind of like using a double negative. Obviously a term created by some mealy mouthed government babble speaking two faced politician who needed an official sounding term to justify income redistribution.

robinhow
10
Points
robinhow 04/04/13 - 03:53 pm
1
1
free health care?

From what I have read you will need to hire an accountant or lawyer to fill out these forms. What a crock !

Truth Matters
8077
Points
Truth Matters 04/04/13 - 09:20 pm
0
0
Frightening!

You betcha! Once Sarah Palin declared death panels would be a component it was down hill. It didn't frighten me because some of us can discern between logic and the illogical.

We may agree in part about blaming the President. He is accused of everything he should go for it and do like W. Bush: "I got capital and I intend to spend it." But he wasn't a power grabber only Obama is one. Go figure.

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