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More than 1 million in Georiga underinsured

Monday, March 24, 2014 10:23 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 25, 2014 2:00 AM
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Even with the Affordable Care Act, 1.5 million in Georgia will be without health insurance because the state refuses to expand Medicaid, a nonpartisan group said Monday.

With the deadline for open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplaces ending March 31, a study found half of those surveyed did not know about the marketplaces and many lacked knowledge about basic insurance components, such as deductibles.

In a report designed to serve as a “baseline” for what progress might be attained through the Affordable Care Act, the Commonwealth Fund released a report that found in addition to 47 million that were uninsured in 2012 there were another 32 million who were underinsured. That was defined as having insurance coverage so poor that the family spent at least 10 percent or more of its income on medical costs.

In Georgia, the 1.8 million uninsured were joined by slightly more than a million underinsured in 2012, the report found. The majority of both groups in Georgia made less than 200 percent of the poverty level or less than $47,100 for a family of four. The report will establish a “baseline” of health care need as coverage under the Affordable Care Act kicks in this year, said Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the group.

“It will be important to continue to monitor trends in the rates of underinsured, in addition to the rates of uninsured, to establish whether the Affordable Care Act is achieving its goals,” he said. “It will be especially important to monitor what happens in states that decline to expand Medicaid.”

The way the act was originally constructed, a federally-funded expansion of state Medicaid programs was to cover most low-income people and therefore the act was to prohibit subsidies through the marketplace for those at federal poverty level to prevent states from dumping Medicaid patients onto the marketplaces.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down the part of the act that would allow the federal government to penalize states that did not expand Medicaid, making expansion optional,and 23 states, including Georgia and South Carolina, have since refused. That leaves those under the poverty level, $23,550 a year for a family of four, without access to coverage or underinsured, which the group estimated was 15 million people. In Georgia, that number is close to 1.5 million, said researcher Cathy Schoen.

“There is a lot at stake when we exclude vast numbers of under (age) 65, whether it is children or young adults, from insurance and the opportunity to live a healthy productive life,” she said. “I think over time, this is the optimist, we will see states saying, ‘Wait a minute, this is an economic issue, this is a health issue, this is an attractive-place-for-business-to-come issue, let’s join.’”

More troubling for those trying to enroll people in the Health Insurance Marketplaces, many of those who need them don’t know what they are. A study out of the University of Southern California, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that before enrollment 64 percent of the uninsured had not heard about the marketplaces meant to help them . Only 31 percent knew about the subsidies that might help them pay for coverage, the study found.

Many were not familiar with basic insurance concepts, with only 42 percent familiar with the deductible/premium tradeoff, according to the report. Lack of familiarity is why many did not enroll early or waited, Blumenthal said.

“One of the leading reasons for that is they weren’t sure the plans were right for them,” he said.

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whozit
147
Points
whozit 03/25/14 - 01:54 am
6
10
Hard to believe

It is hard to believe there is anyone who does not know about the ACA given the publicity it has received for years now. The shortsighted decision to turn down the Medicaid expansion is shameful for many reasons, but mostly for the fact it is a purely political decision that does not take into account the people of the state. Hundreds of millions in investments and jobs will be lost and rural hospitals are going to be put even further at risk because the funds they relied on for indigent care are being cut as it was assumed all states would take part in the Medicaid expansion.

dickworth1
956
Points
dickworth1 03/25/14 - 05:29 am
12
4
Whozit
Unpublished

Georgia was not shortsighted as you put it, no, the state is looking out for citizens that work for a living and not live off the government for everything. I would be willing to bet that these citizens that that you say will be left off Medicaid probably have cell phones, cable tv, food stamps, and welfare checks, but you think because I make a paycheck that I should share with those that don't work! Your explaination is the
same thing they do in communist countries, the government controls everything and everyone is equal, if that is what you think is right, then maybe relocate to one of these countries and live there for a couple of years and see how you like it. You reap what you sow. People need to rely on their ability and not the government as one democratic president stated, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." If you don't know what president said this look it up.

avidreader
4202
Points
avidreader 03/25/14 - 05:33 am
12
4
Emergency Rooms!

Emergency rooms have always served the impoverished as a "neighborhood clinic". It's going to get worse now. However, I do agree with Gov. Deal's decision to opt out of expansion for medicaid. And we can't blame him for protecting the tax-payers' money. I blame Obama for attempting to institute a plan that strong-arms states into submission.

Let's just dump (or revamp) Obamacare and move on!

Pond Life
17680
Points
Pond Life 03/25/14 - 07:15 am
9
4
whozit. How is it short
Unpublished

whozit. How is it short sighted for a state to realize that it should not spend more money than it takes in?

corgimom
53597
Points
corgimom 03/25/14 - 07:17 am
4
6
dickworth, the taxpayers are

dickworth, the taxpayers are still going to be paying for those people. In fact, you will be paying MORE for them, because they don't have insurance.

Do you think that they never get sick, never have accidents, never need hospitalization?

People that don't have medical insurance don't go to the doctor when their illnesses are small and easily managed; instead, they wind up in the hospital, very, very sick, and needing thousands of dollars worth of care.

So your idea that you won't be paying for them is in error.

Pond Life
17680
Points
Pond Life 03/25/14 - 08:04 am
6
4
"dickworth, the taxpayers are
Unpublished

"dickworth, the taxpayers are still going to be paying for those people. In fact, you will be paying MORE for them, because they don't have insurance."

That's part of the problem....the assumption that we HAVE to take care of people who refuse to take care of themselves.

southern2
11631
Points
southern2 03/25/14 - 08:07 am
9
3
Totally ban ALL FORCED

Totally ban ALL FORCED REDISTRIBUTION including Medicaid, existing and expanded.

If you desire insurance or medical care then get a job and pay for it and QUIT being dependent on your neighbor's labor for your own wellbeing.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 03/25/14 - 08:56 am
2
5
PL @ 8:04

""dickworth, the taxpayers are still going to be paying for those people. In fact, you will be paying MORE for them, because they don't have insurance."

That's part of the problem....the assumption that we HAVE to take care of people who refuse to take care of themselves"

I was 100 % for Obamacare when I thought it was TRULY AFFORDABLE, therefore making it a non-factor as for as the tax-payers were concerned!! NOW, I am probably 65% to 70% against it!! One of the main reasons that I am against it is because I see insurance companies getting "WIND-FALL" profits out of the tax payers' pockets!!

soapy_725
45768
Points
soapy_725 03/25/14 - 09:10 am
0
0
Now we know why AARP lobbied for ACA. $$$$$
Unpublished

Now we know why AARP lobbied for ACA. $$$$$

soapy_725
45768
Points
soapy_725 03/25/14 - 09:10 am
0
0
Now we know why the insurance companies lobbied for ACA. $$$$$
Unpublished

Now we know why the insurance companies lobbied for ACA. $$$$$

soapy_725
45768
Points
soapy_725 03/25/14 - 09:11 am
0
0
$5000 deductables, $200/mth premiums when you can't afford a DR.
Unpublished

$5000 deductables, $200/mth premiums when you can't afford a DR.

Pond Life
17680
Points
Pond Life 03/25/14 - 10:19 am
4
4
The main reason you dislike
Unpublished

The main reason you dislike this law is that someone will make a profit? Well....it seems you are doing the right thing for mainly the wrong reason....but the right thing none the less.

Little Lamb
57542
Points
Little Lamb 03/25/14 - 11:24 am
5
3
Why?

Avidreader posted:

Emergency rooms have always served the impoverished as a "neighborhood clinic". It's going to get worse now.

Corgimom posted:

In fact, you will be paying MORE for them, because they don't have insurance.

I don't quite get the logic here. These uninsured and underinsured are using emergency rooms now and ducking out on payment. They will continue doing so. So, to me, it's merely status quo. I see no logical reason why they will use the emergency room more than they did last year.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 03/25/14 - 11:26 am
2
3
PL @ 10:19

Perhaps it is for partial wrong reasons, BUT are you saying that it is OK for insurance companies to make a profit off of the tax payers?? It is very hypothitical, but do you realy think that I would be for The ACA if there had not been 47 million citizens without health insurance? NOW, it seems that this is a non-factor since there is only 5 to 7 million to have signed up for it!! I will give credit where credit is due, you and the conservatives WERE CORRECT ABOUT OBAMCARE!!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 03/25/14 - 11:32 am
0
4
General comment about health insurance

I realize the arguement that is put up about the health insurance plans in Canada, Great Briten, and other countries! I guess what bugs me is the FACT that health insurance companies ARE GETTING rich off of the tax payers!! Wouldn't make better sence to let the feds manage health insurance?? That way insurance companies would probably offer RESONABLE premiums!

Pond Life
17680
Points
Pond Life 03/25/14 - 11:33 am
6
4
You know you don't have to
Unpublished

You know you don't have to pass a bill to see what's in it. You can read it. I know you don't like to read, but the Senators and Representatives who passed this law without reading it should all be impeached for the damage they have done to this nation through their gross negligence.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 03/25/14 - 11:39 am
1
4
PL @ 11:33

"You know you don't have to pass a bill to see what's in it. You can read it. I know you don't like to read, but the Senators and Representatives who passed this law without reading it should all be impeached for the damage they have done to this nation through their gross negligence"

What person, in their right mind DOES NOT like to read!! (LOL) I agree with your statement 100%. Last year I would have been absolutely against your statement!! There must be a lot of Democrats on Capitol Hill who don't like to read!! I wonder who could have changed my mind about the ACA?? (LOL)

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 03/25/14 - 11:45 am
1
3
Got to go

I will try to make it back today. I didn't read ANY comments about my suggestion to set off a nuke over Siberia. I guess you'all think that would set off WW3?? How else can the west prove to Putin that the west is not going to stand for ANY MORE of his take over of countries??!! Did you ever consider that that might be the sole perpose of Siberia!! Think about it!!

Bizkit
49764
Points
Bizkit 03/25/14 - 12:24 pm
2
3
Gosh you can make 130K a year

Gosh you can make 130K a year and will be underinsured cause you pay 500 a month in premiums and then a 7000K deductible=13,000. Boy I bet a lot of people are still underinsured under the exchanges too. Gosh next year my policy in the ACA exchange was going to be 1,200 a month with a 7500K deductible=21,900-so if I made less than 219,000 a year I would still have poor insurance with the ACA by their measure (10% of income on insurance). But I've got three more years now I guess before that happens. So I guess all those not insured will penalized with a tax now? But think about it lots of middle to upper middle class folks will be paying 10% of their income in health care costs under the ACA-because the subsidies don't really offset the cost of the insurance as everyones taxes are going up because of the ACA.

KSL
190829
Points
KSL 03/25/14 - 12:28 pm
4
4
Tim, you need to a little

Tim, you need to a little research on the profit margins of health insurance companies. At least before ocare, their profit margins were very small.

Bizkit
49764
Points
Bizkit 03/25/14 - 12:30 pm
3
3
Tbledsoe I'm starting to

Tbledsoe I'm starting to think that Obama is just hell bent on reducing the US to third world country. I think sanctions on Russia will likely hurt Europe, Japan, and the US so we go down trying to bring him down. It seems a foolish strategy, but he has demonstrated he doesn't care if Americans suffer for his ideological goals.

Bizkit
49764
Points
Bizkit 03/25/14 - 12:34 pm
3
3
Progressive like to mislead

Progressive like to mislead to demonize for their political gain. "Overall, the profit margin for health insurance companies was a modest 3.4 percent over the past year, according to data provided by Morningstar. That ranks 87th out of 215 industries and slightly above the median of 2.2 percent. By this measure, the most profitable industry over the past year has been beverages, with a 25.9 percent profit margin. Right behind that were healthcare real-estate trusts (firms that are basically the landlords for hospitals and healthcare facilities) and application-software (think Windows). The worst performer was copper, with a profit margin of minus 56.6 percent."
"If you're wondering about Exxon, with its history of gargantuan profits, its profit margin was 9 percent over the past 12 months, according to the research firm Capital IQ. The average for the oil and gas industry overall was 10.2 percent, three times the margin in the health insurance industry. And that's nothing compared with high-fliers like Google—which had a 20.6 percent margin—and Microsoft, at 24.9 percent."

Bizkit
49764
Points
Bizkit 03/25/14 - 12:36 pm
3
3
Funny people love Bill Gates

Funny people love Bill Gates and Microsoft, but will demonize health care insurance providers. Why don't progressives hate and demonize Gates-seems he is much more deserving of being a greedy capitalist.

Little Lamb
57542
Points
Little Lamb 03/25/14 - 12:54 pm
3
3
That does not compute

t3bledsoe posted:

Wouldn't make better sence to let the feds manage health insurance?? That way insurance companies would probably offer RESONABLE premiums!

Excuse me, but what federal government program is managed more efficiently and cheaper than private enterprises? Take a look at public education, for example. The cost spent per student in public education is typically far higher than in your typical private school.

At least when you send you kids to private schools, you get to quit paying when your kids leave school. With public education you keep on paying until you die.

CobaltGeorge
218114
Points
CobaltGeorge 03/25/14 - 02:20 pm
0
2
"With public education you keep on paying until you die."

Wrong LL, when you hit 70, you don't pay one penny to the common core public education.

Little Lamb
57542
Points
Little Lamb 03/25/14 - 02:23 pm
2
1
70

You may get out of paying local property taxes to the local school board, but you pay plenty to the federal government and state government in income taxes, some of which goes to public education. And don't forget about the local sales taxes, some of which goes to public education.

Oedipus
205
Points
Oedipus 03/25/14 - 05:37 pm
2
3
Rejecting Medicaid expansion

Rejecting Medicaid expansion is cruel and unacceptable. Now is the voters time to make it clear to Gov. Nathan Deal that uninsured Georgians are outrage over his hatred toward Obamacare, there will be a political price to pay in his tight re- election campaign for Governor in November.

Sophisticated
451
Points
Sophisticated 03/25/14 - 05:47 pm
2
2
Republican is sinking in the

Republican is sinking in the polls and Republicans would bar poor from health care altogether has destroyed the elephant party brand. It's creating a perfect storm that could bring huge Democratic gain in the upcoming elections.

Bizkit
49764
Points
Bizkit 03/25/14 - 07:36 pm
2
0
I'm no fan of Deal either.

I'm no fan of Deal either. But Deal realized that expanding Medicaid by accepting adults and children would cost the state too much in the long run-because the state always gets stuck with the bill with these expansion programs of the fed. Of course, the govt promises to pay 100%-but with what-all the new federal taxes that every working person pays. So we are paying for something that we aren't getting. And the govt doesn't have it-they are already 750 billion in deficit spending and promise not to exceed that. Already talk about bailing out the health insurance industry-so we would definitely get stuck with this expansion program.

dade30906
258
Points
dade30906 03/25/14 - 07:41 pm
1
2
5 million have signed up for quality, affordable Obamacare.

What does a craft store have to do with birth control? It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but in reality, the answer could have far- reaching consequences. One of the most popular provisions of the Affordale Care Act requires health plans to provide important preventive health services without a co- pay. The owners of Hobby Lobby and cabinet maker Conestoga Woods, however, claim that providing health plans to their employees that include coverage for common birth control methods restricts their personal religious beliefs. Your health decisions should not be trumpeted by your employer's religion or personal beliefs. The passage if Obamacare, more than 22.5 million women have been covered by this benefit and are able to get their birth control with no out -of - pocket costs.

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