Many Working Parents and Families in Georgia Would Benefit from Extending Medicaid Coverage

Georgia is one of the 19 states that have elected not to accept federal funding under the ACA to extend Medicaid coverage to parents and other low-income adults and is not actively considering plans for coverage. Consequently, parents in Georgia are not eligible for Medicaid or premium tax credits if their incomes exceed 39 percent of the poverty line ($7,835 annually, or $653 per month, for a family of three in 2015) but remain below 100 percent of the poverty line ($20,090 annually, or $1,674 per month for a family of three). As a result, there are about 300,000 Georgians (including childless adults) who fall into this coverage gap and at least 500,000 adults excluded from Medicaid coverage due to Georgia’s decision not to expand Medicaid.

Should Georgia choose to extend Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes up to 138 percent of FPL, federal funding will be available to cover 100 percent of the costs for the newly covered through 2016. Georgia has the option to join six other states in creating its own plan to extend coverage through a waiver of certain Medicaid provisions. All six of the states that have proposed Medicaid waivers so far have come to agreement with the federal government and extended coverage. Georgia law currently requires the General Assembly approve any Medicaid expansion.