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Georgia Health Insurance Group Gears Up For Healthcare Reform


While debates continue over the future of health care and Georgia health insurance, the debate in Georgia has intensified due to the likely increases in a state budget that is already strained. The new health care plan has immense costs associated with it and state governments are now raising concerns due to the added burdens resulting from the proposed Medicaid and Medicare expansions. Learn more at,

Current estimates indicate that the state of Georgia may be saddled with hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new costs associated with the funding of federally mandated and supported health care programs. Critics of health care reform argue that the state would not be able to handle these additional costs, especially during its own tough economic times. Given the expected cuts in the state budget for 2010, legislators may be grappling with further belt tightening. Higher taxes and massive cuts in services seem to be the answer proposed by some in the legislature; a prospect that is not welcomed by anyone.

There are also concerns that the proposed reform will drive up the cost of medical care and physicians, and that the cost of health care coverage will increase for those individuals and families that are not eligible for Medicaid and who have to purchase their own health insurance coverage.

Those in staunch support of the bill do not agree that reform will place too large a burden on the state of Georgia or its citizens. Rather, these supporters are instead focusing on the benefits that will be afforded by reform. Many of Georgia’s poor will benefit from the health care bill if it passes.

Medicaid enrollment under the reform plan will likely increase substantially. This is the federal plan that currently provides the poor with health care coverage. Single adults with no children will not qualify for Medicaid in Georgia, and parents have tougher standards to meet as Georgia maintains more stringent eligibility requirements for Medicaid. The new health care bill could change this, making Medicare more readily available to more people. Many critics continue to argue that a large number newly eligible people will seek Medicare benefits. This could cause a large and swift increase in the number of Medicare recipients, and add a significant burden to the state budget. Estimates of $35 million are projected merely in staffing and additional administrative costs.

Current plans for reform will offer full funding for Medicaid for new recipients will change the Georgia health insurance marketplace, but those benefits are reduced to 90 percent after the first few years. Over time, the costs rise significantly under the reform plan. Reform is projected to cost Georgia $93 million by 2013.

Proponents of health care reform continue to argue that Georgia will benefit greatly from health care reform, and that many uninsured people will be able to obtain necessary health coverage through the plan. Additionally, some argue that the costs are actually a bargain for the state given the current state budget of $17 billion as well as anticipated federal funding that would come in through the reform program.


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