georgia obamacare | WABE 90.1 FM

georgia obamacare

Ga. Insurer Files Statewide Plans For Obamacare Exchange

May 19, 2017
A pedestrian walks past the corporate headquarters of health insurer Anthem, formerly known as Wellpoint, on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 in Indianapolis. The Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer sells insurance in several states under the Anthem brand, which was th
Darron Cummings / Associated Press

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia has taken the first step to continue participation in the Obamacare insurance exchange, by filing proposed plans with the state insurance commissioner.

Like us on Facebook

The company, which is owned by the health insurance firm Anthem, says it has filed plans for all regions of the state, including the 96 counties where it is the only provider in the marketplace.

The House Republican healthcare plan has been met with derision and skepticism from politicians and the public alike.
J. Scott Applewhite, File / Associated Press

Top Georgia Republicans so far have been fairly quiet about the plan from U.S. House Republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also called Obamacare).

Like us on Facebook


More than 9.2 million Americans are covered by the Affordable Care Act this year, about 500,000 less than in 2016.

Georgia is among the states where enrollment declined.

Nearly 494,000 Georgians signed up for Affordable Care Act in 2017.

That's a 16-percent drop from the previous year, according to Georgia Health News.

Most of the enrollees — about 378,000 people — are from Metro Atlanta.

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act hold up signs as the opinion for health care is reported outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday June 25, 2015.
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

 On a recent campaign stop in Cobb County, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence made a promise that used to be a big applause line at Republican rallies since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

“If you want a president who will cut taxes, grow our economy, squeeze every nickel out of that bloated federal bureaucracy and repeal Obamacare lock stock and barrel,” Pence said to growing applause, “then I say to you here in Georgia, we have but one choice.”

Consultant Blake Fulenwider and Georgia Chamber task force spokesman Brian Robinson, speaking with Denis O'Hayer in the WABE studios on August 31, 2016.
Faith Williams / WABE News


This week, a health care task force created by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce released its much-anticipated report on ways the state could expand medical coverage for the uninsured. The report outlined three possible paths for lawmakers to consider this coming legislative session.

Ga. Chamber Releases Plans For Expanding Health Care Access

Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

A health care task force created by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce released its much-anticipated report on ways the state could expand medical coverage to the uninsured Wednesday, outlining three paths for lawmakers to consider this coming legislative session.

Alex Brandon, File / Associated Press

Federal health officials are downplaying concerns of higher costs and less choice on the Obamacare insurance exchanges next year, including in Georgia.

A report from the U.S. Department Health and Human Services released Wednesday said even if all premiums increase in Georgia by 50 percent next year, around 79 percent of consumers would still pay $75 or less each month for coverage.

Jessica Hill / Associated Press

Health care company Aetna says it's pulling its plans off the individual insurance exchanges in Georgia and 10 other states next year, making it the latest major insurer to deal a blow to President Obama’s signature health care law.

Nationwide, the company says it will shrink its presence from 778 counties to 242 next year, and will continue operating exchange plans in only four states: Nebraska, Virginia, Iowa and Vermont. In Georgia this year, Aetna operated plans in 67 counties.

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act hold up signs as the opinion for health care is reported outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday June 25, 2015.
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

Georgia could pull down $8 to $9 from the federal government for every one state dollar it spends to expand Medicaid, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit looked at Georgia and the 18 other states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The findings show Georgia could get from $8.86 to $9.42 for every state dollar it spends to expand the federal health program that covers the poor and disabled, depending on how many people enroll in the program.


There are an estimated 400,000 Georgians who can't afford health care insurance, but who have too much income to qualify for Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, aimed to close that gap by offering federal money to states if they expanded Medicaid to cover more of those people.

But more than six years after the ACA took effect, Georgia has consistently refused to expand Medicaid. And without that federal money, Georgia officials have had to pump millions of state dollars into the health system to meet exploding costs.

Southern Regional May Get Lifeline From Ca. Company

Jul 30, 2015
The front entrance of Southern Regional Healthcare Center in Riverdale, Georgia
Brenna Beech / WABE

Southern Regional Medical Center in Clayton County has struggled for years to provide medical care to residents on metro Atlanta's south side.

Now on the brink of closing at least some programs, Southern Regional may have found a financial lifeline.

California-based Prime Healthcare Services is in talks with the hospital to buy the facility and make it part of Prime Healthcare's foundation. 

Ga. Officials Looking Into Access To Healthcare Providers

Jul 27, 2015
Dr. Gary C. Richter, M.D. talks with patient about a procedure in his office in Atlanta, Ga.
Joey Ivansco / AP Photo, File

How adequate are the services provided under health insurance plans bought through the new Obamacare healthcare marketplace and are Atlanta residents getting all the benefits they should be? The answer might surprise you.

Signing up for medical insurance in the health marketplace means access to network health providers. But in exchange for having that access, the network controls almost every decision that is made – from the doctor a patient can see to the hospital a patient can visit.

Wally Gobetz /

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision Monday that Oklahoma can continue using a controversial sedative in the state’s lethal injection cocktail.

The nation’s top court said the use of the sedative does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment and that lethal injection is still the most humane form of execution.

WABE legal analyst Page Pate said during an interview on “A Closer Look” that the ruling won’t directly impact Georgia.

This March 1, 2014 file photo shows part of the website for, seen in Washington.
Jon Elswick, File / Associated Press

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of this month on a case that could mean 412,000 Georgians covered by "Obamacare" lose their subsidies. That means their monthly health insurance premiums could skyrocket.

Georgia is one of 34 states that elected not to set up its own health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act and let the federal government run its exchange instead. The high court will decide, in King v. Burwell, whether people insured through federally-run health care exchanges, such as Georgia, are still eligible for monthly subsidies.