Thursday, October 09, 2003

The Department of Community Health in Georgia has announced $160 million of Medicaid cuts. This to comply with the across-the-board 2.5 percent cut in budgets ordered by the governor. This is primarily done by reducing those eligible for the program:
Community health officials said many of the proposed cuts would bring Georgia to the same level of coverage as other Southeastern states.

Georgia Medicaid eligibility for children and pregnant women would be reduced to those whose family income is equal to or lower than 185 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, the income cutoff would be $34,044. Currently, a family of four with an income of $43,260 would be eligible for Medicaid benefits; that's 235 percent of the poverty level.

I didn't know that Georgia was so generous. Given that according to the Census Bureau the median household income in 2001 was $42,228 (down from $43,162 in 2000) your family income can be higher than half the population of the U.S. and you can still qualify for Medicaid. You can be a PGY 4 at the Medical College of Georgia with yourself or your spouse pregnant and qualify for Medicaid.
But of course, the providers will take it as well..
The budget plan also would lower payments to nursing homes and doctors, who have already experienced cuts in Medicaid reimbursements......
David Cook, executive director of the Medical Association of Georgia, suggested the reimbursement cuts would lead to fewer Georgia doctors accepting Medicaid patients.

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