Healthcare professionals in Georgia are sounding the alarm on a concerning situation that could create a double whammy for taxpayers. Tens of thousands of Georgians have lost their Medicaid coverage primarily due to procedural issues, resulting in financial and healthcare burdens.
During the three years of the pandemic, the federal government waived re-enrollment requirements for Medicaid. However, this year, rolling notices were sent out to families based on the date of their initial enrollment. Unfortunately, many individuals never received these notices due to incorrect contact information, such as wrong phone numbers and email addresses.
Dr. Elizabeth Ford, DeKalb County CEO’s health special assistant, is leading the effort to help uninsured residents re-enroll in Medicaid or PeachCare for Kids. She is collaborating with Emory University Hospital and working with faith and school leaders to spread awareness about the re-enrollment process before a scheduled event in October.
The state of Georgia has sent notices to 162,000 out of the 2.7 million Medicaid users this month. In July, the Georgia Department of Community Health reported that approximately 100,000 individuals had already lost their Medicaid coverage. Dr. Ford clarified that around 248,000 patients had their coverage terminated out of the 620,000 state officials reached out to regarding redeterminations.
The repercussions of this coverage loss could have widespread consequences. Uninsured individuals who seek care in emergency departments drive up the cost of care, compared to receiving treatment at a doctor’s office. Additionally, the health risk extends to individuals with insurance, as their children could be at risk of falling ill while being in close proximity to uninsured children.
To enroll for Medicaid, recipients must wait until their enrollment window opens after receiving a notice from the state. However, individuals can update their contact information on Gateway.ga.gov to ensure they receive the necessary notifications.
This situation highlights the critical importance of accurate communication and the need for streamlined procedures to prevent individuals from inadvertently losing their healthcare coverage.
– Channel 2 Action News
– Georgia Department of Community Health