Health care in Georgia


Georgia Senate panel backs health care waiver bill to expand coverage

Georgia’s Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday passed a bill to give the governor power to shape two programs that could improve access to government-funded health care for more Georgians. The measure, Senate Bill 106, passed the committee on a 9-4 vote, with mostly Republicans voting against the Democratic minority. The Democrats objected to voting so quickly with...


Health care could have ‘big year’ in Georgia’s Legislature

Health care could have ‘big year’ in Georgia’s Legislature

The hospital Joe Ierardi runs near the Georgia coast is hundreds of miles from the state Capitol in Atlanta. But that’s where make-or-break decisions for the Wayne County facility and other hospitals across the state may be made over the next three months, he believes.
Sometimes, Georgia health care costs are a simple matter of location

Sometimes, Georgia health care costs are a simple matter of location

When Frans Insinger of Rockdale County went to renew his health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchange this fall, he found his premium was going to jump by more than one-third. It was a punch in the gut, considering prices were reported as stable now. One thing Insinger didn’t know: He lived in the wrong county.
Torpy at Large: The fight to kill Obamacare and the families it upends

Torpy at Large: The fight to kill Obamacare and the families it upends

On Saturday, I clicked on AJC.com and learned a federal judge in Texas had struck down the Affordable Care Act. The story quoted Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, one of the soldiers in this campaign, blithely touting his office’s good work in undermining a “constitutionally flawed law.
Obamacare ruling hits home in Georgia

Obamacare ruling hits home in Georgia

A Texas judge on Friday evening struck down the entire Affordable Care Act nationwide. If the ruling is upheld, it will impact far more than the half-million Georgians who have an insurance plan through the health care exchange.
Georgia joins suit challenging Obamacare again

Georgia joins suit challenging Obamacare again

State Attorney General Chris Carr has entered Georgia as one of 20 states in a lawsuit led by Texas and Wisconsin alleging that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. The ACA, also known as Obamacare, has been challenged in court numerous times by states where Republicans are the dominating party. The highest-profile challenge failed in the U.S.
Study: Rural hospitals’ survival linked to Medicaid

Study: Rural hospitals’ survival linked to Medicaid

Georgia is among 18 states that did not decide to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. A new study says that decision may have had a cost to communities. Hospitals, often strapped for cash in rural areas, were substantially less likely to shut down in places where Medicaid had been expanded to cover more of a community’s poor adults, the study found.
Georgia task force on health care recommends more research

Georgia task force on health care recommends more research

A high-powered task force led by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has completed nearly a year of meetings and research without producing a solution to some of the state’s biggest health care problems, such as the state’s hundreds of thousands of uninsured poor. Instead, it recommended more research. The Senate Health Care Reform Task Force’s steps may eventually lead to big solutions.
Georgia qualifies for Obamacare extension — a surprise to many brokers

Georgia qualifies for Obamacare extension — a surprise to many brokers

Insurance brokers all over Georgia got a clear, helpful message from the federal government on Friday about the end of the window to sign up for Obamacare. “Open Enrollment Ends Today at 11:59 PM (PST): This is the final day to enroll consumers for coverage all year!” Only, it wasn’t true.
Open enrollment for Obamacare races to an end

Open enrollment for Obamacare races to an end

Friday, Dec. 15, is the big day for Obamacare — the final day of open enrollment.It’s the last day when most Americans can sign up for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s exchange market for coverage in 2018.
Some Georgians unaware that Obamacare enrollment will end Friday

Some Georgians unaware that Obamacare enrollment will end Friday

As the enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act’s 2018 health insurance plans enters its frantic final week, some Georgians still don’t know the time is almost up.“It’s very important that people pay attention this week if they haven’t enrolled yet and get it done,” said Marc Jenkins, who helps people enroll in the plans.
Perdue says further health care changes ‘absolutely’ needed

Perdue says further health care changes ‘absolutely’ needed

As House and Senate lawmakers open another phase of negotiations over a $1.5 trillion federal tax overhaul, some Republicans are emboldened about pursuing new cuts to the system of health care entitlements. U.S. Sen. David Perdue said Monday that lawmakers should “absolutely” seek changes to the Medicaid and Medicare programs to help maximize the impact of the tax cuts.
Some ACA premiums fall while others spike; enrollment keeps surging

Some ACA premiums fall while others spike; enrollment keeps surging

Tyrone Jenkins sat in his insurance agent’s office on Friday, relieved about his health insurance. After all the upheaveal and news over skyrocketing Obamacare premiums, Jenkins will actually see his coverage costs plummet next year. He’ll pay less than half in 2018 what he did in 2017 for similar coverage. How can this be? Jenkins doesn’t like the answer.
Obamacare enrollment surging, so far, in Georgia, across nation

Obamacare enrollment surging, so far, in Georgia, across nation

Nick Anderson prepared for weeks for open enrollment as an Affordable Care Act navigator in his west-central Georgia territory. And as he hit up local spots asking to post fliers and publicize the Nov. 1 start date, he noticed something different this year.“They’re way more energized about spreading the word,” he said.
Obamacare open enrollment begins

Obamacare open enrollment begins

Nov. 1 -- today -- is the day open enrollment begins for health insurance plans on the Affordable Care Act exchange markets, also known as Obamacare. Over the next 45 days, until Dec. 15, people can go on healthcare.gov and buy a plan for 2018. It’s the first full open enrollment for the ACA under the Trump administration.
10 things the Trump administration has changed about Obamacare

10 things the Trump administration has changed about Obamacare

Obamacare has not been repealed, but its critics are now in charge of administering the Affordable Care Act, and they’ve made many changes to diminish its impact. “Obamacare is bad policy,” said the Trump administration’s two top officials over the system as they issued one important executive order changing how the law works.
Enrollment set to begin for an Obamacare with many changes

Enrollment set to begin for an Obamacare with many changes

After a year of drama in Washington over Obamacare, this week the reality lands in Georgia homes. On Wednesday, the federal health insurance exchange market opens for business for the next 45 days, selling 2018 plans.
Georgia ACA health insurance rate increases in nation’s top 10

Georgia ACA health insurance rate increases in nation’s top 10

Obamacare rates for 2018 are now online for people to window shop before enrollment opens Nov. 1. And customers here will find something disturbing. Georgia’s premiums on the Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange markets aren’t just going up. They’re going up more than most places in the U.S.
Questions and Answers: Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) open enrollment

Questions and Answers: Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) open enrollment

Open enrollment for customers of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, begins Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15. A lot has changed that people will need to know. Here are some important points. In addition, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will answer questions at noon Nov. 1 on the AJC’s main Facebook page. A: Until Dec. 15. That’s a big change from previous years.
Georgia customers scramble after Trump stops Obamacare subsidies

Georgia customers scramble after Trump stops Obamacare subsidies

Kirk Lyman-Barner’s phone began buzzing at 7:30 a.m. Friday and didn’t stop for hours. An Americus insurance broker who specializes in Obamacare policies, Lyman-Barner is used to being a familiar face around town.
Trump eases health care regulations

Trump eases health care regulations

President Donald Trump’s move to loosen some of the federal rules governing so-called associated health plans and short-term insurance on Thursday garnered mixed reaction in Georgia. Republicans lauded the changes for increasing flexibility and competition and providing more lower-cost options to locals with few or no alternatives to Obamacare.
Survey: Health centers hit by Congressional funding uncertainty

Survey: Health centers hit by Congressional funding uncertainty

Across the nation, community health centers that have furnished care for decades have already felt the impact of Congress’ inability to budget consistently, according to a new survey. The National Association of Community Health Centers surveyed its members and said one-quarter reported that they were already finding it harder to recruit and retain staff.
Georgians weary of failed Obamacare repeal but want health care action

Georgians weary of failed Obamacare repeal but want health care action

For the third time, congressional Republicans admitted defeat Tuesday on a push to repeal Obamacare, seemingly for good. In Georgia, opponents and supporters alike were weary and frustrated at the wasted time and energy that Congress has cost the nation. But they were not spent: They immediately spoke of what needs to be done now.
Graham-Cassidy obscures deadlines for other key actions on health care

Graham-Cassidy obscures deadlines for other key actions on health care

Nearly one hundred and fifty million dollars to keep Georgia hospitals’ indigent care afloat. Funding for the PeachCare program that along with Medicaid covers about half of Georgia’s kids. Clear answers on Obamacare subsidies that Blue Cross said it needed to keep selling individual plans in metro Atlanta.
How will GOP’s last run at health care overhaul impact Georgia

How will GOP’s last run at health care overhaul impact Georgia

The Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare seemed all but dead this summer. Now it’s not. Again. Against all odds, Georgians both for and against the effort are watching warily as GOP leaders try one last pass at taking down the signature health care law of the Obama administration before their ability to do so expires Sept. 30.
Obamacare navigators see deep cuts in funds to guide recipients

Obamacare navigators see deep cuts in funds to guide recipients

In a letter she just received, Trinh Pham saw the yearly funding for her organization’s work guiding Obamacare enrollees drop from about $150,000 to roughly $10,000. Starting right now. “I’m shocked,” she said. She’s not the only one.
Obamacare insurers’ 2018 rate increases to rise even more

Obamacare insurers’ 2018 rate increases to rise even more

Customers of the Obamacare exchange markets in Georgia got bad news this summer when insurers first disclosed the rates they want to charge next year. Not only were double-digit increases on the table — well over 50 percent for some plans — but some insurers flat-out said they might rise even more. Now the final deadline for rates is approaching.
Equifax, company in data breach, holds Obamacare customer info

Equifax, company in data breach, holds Obamacare customer info

The historic data breach at Atlanta-based Equifax is now raising stress levels in the world of health care. Equifax holds the federal contract to verify personal incomes for policyholders on the insurance exchanges of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
Congress faces monumental September to-do list

Congress faces monumental September to-do list

Lawmakers return to Washington on Tuesday to face a mountain of must-pass items for September, a workload that threatens to divide lawmakers as leaders look to avoid a government shutdown, debt default and dry coffers at the emergency management agency tasked with rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey.
Health care on Georgians’ front burner as Congress returns

Health care on Georgians’ front burner as Congress returns

Carol Lander’s family premiums went up by $500 a month this year alone. Deb Vance lost her insurance subsidy because she lost her income, so then she lost her doctor. Some Atlanta small businesses need to nail down their next health insurance plans fast, but can’t, because the ground is shifting so much.
Georgia health care has many voices, one message: Time to act

Georgia health care has many voices, one message: Time to act

You’ve heard the numbers, health care is approaching 20 percent of GDP. Companies can’t afford it. Families can’t afford it. We have to do something to make it more affordable. And the first steps that were taken within the insurance area, they’re good steps. But we need to continue to bring to the table solutions to reduce cost, eliminate waste and improve quality.
Georgians hit by Obamacare subsidy uncertainty

Georgians hit by Obamacare subsidy uncertainty

Georgia Obamacare customers already feeling the pain of rate hikes could be in for even worse if Washington doesn’t get its act together, researchers in the nation’s capital and Georgia said. President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have threatened a key subsidy that makes the Obamacare exchange market work. But they have not passed a new plan in its place.
Georgia GOP reps meet healthy share of jeers, cheers at town halls

Georgia GOP reps meet healthy share of jeers, cheers at town halls

The seesawing crescendo of boos, cheers, one-liners and comebacks from the crowded pews seemed close to spinning out of control when U.S. Rep. Doug Collins set down his microphone, sat down quietly and asked for a “collective deep breath.
Blue Cross Georgia pullback: questions and answers

Blue Cross Georgia pullback: questions and answers

Thousands of Georgians will have to find a new health insurance company next year when Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia pulls out of the individual market for 74 counties, including those in metro Atlanta. It will be the first time in decades that Blue Cross has not served the individual market in the Atlanta area.
Blue Cross pulls back on Georgia coverage

Blue Cross pulls back on Georgia coverage

Citing federal uncertainty, Blue Cross Blue Shield will not offer individual health insurance coverage in metro Atlanta in 2018, the company said Monday. And it came perilously close to withdrawing entirely from Georgia’s individual market, documents show, but decided to stay in the state after intense negotiations.
Grady, Georgia hospitals stand to lose millions in federal payments

Grady, Georgia hospitals stand to lose millions in federal payments

Officials at Grady Memorial and dozens of other Georgia hospitals breathed a sigh of relief when the GOP plan to scale back Medicaid recently failed in the U.S. Senate. But now, they say, they face a different threat.
After Obamacare repeal fails, Georgia leaders to seek Medicaid waivers

After Obamacare repeal fails, Georgia leaders to seek Medicaid waivers

The collapse of the GOP health care overhaul has Georgia’s leaders wrestling over whether to stand pat and let a funding crisis continue to threaten the state’s fragile hospital system or seek changes that could open the spigots for more federal dollars. Amid uncertainty about how insurance markets will be affected by the U.S.
Alantans happy, disappointed repeal effort failed

Alantans happy, disappointed repeal effort failed

Are you happy that the GOP effort failed to repeal and replace Obamacare? Or disappointed? People express very strong beliefs about this, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reached out to a variety of people, public officials and others affected by this. Read the full story, and join the discussion with your comments, at http://www.myajc.com/news/state—regional-govt—politics/after-repeal-bill-failure-shock-relief-and-disappointment-georgia/5yjZhx6uLuGOR6bNrcGPwN/
Senators vote to open debate on health care law

Senators vote to open debate on health care law

Republican senators voted Tuesday to open debate on revising U.S. health care law, advancing a signature campaign pledge following a tense and dramatic week on Capitol Hill. But the party voted to do so only with the barest of margins, an illustration of the challenges ahead as leaders look to unite a divided and unruly caucus.
Senate to push for health care debate, but which plan?

Senate to push for health care debate, but which plan?

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote Tuesday to kick off debate on legislation that would repeal Obamacare, but what’s in store is still a mystery. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to disclose whether he plans to immediately push a replacement for the 2010 health care law or simply a repeal-only plan, much like what the Senate voted on two years ago.
Latest health bill estimates: up to 1 million fewer Georgians covered

Latest health bill estimates: up to 1 million fewer Georgians covered

Senate GOP leaders have made change after change to their health care legislation to try to persuade Republican senators to vote for it. But that has not changed the flow of estimates showing that while the government would save money, large numbers of Americans — including more than a half-million Georgians — would lose health insurance.
Georgia stakeholders anxious and confused over health care fight

Georgia stakeholders anxious and confused over health care fight

As the Senate was laying the groundwork to repeal Obamacare back in January, Georgia U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson insisted that tearing down the 7-year-old law without a replacement in hand was “unsustainable and impractical.
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