Georgia Medicaid History and Facts

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Photo by Gotta Be Worth It on

Initial Medicaid Implementation: Georgia was one of several states that did not take advantage of medical coverage provided by the Kerr-Mills bill, the program that provided reimbursement for low-income elderly medical costs. While Georgia established a program in 1961 it never drew down funds. Georgia initially implemented Medicaid in October of 1967, earlier than many of its neighbor states. The state did not initially establish a medically needy program, perhaps on the concern that the program would expand similar to Kerr-Mills programs in other states.

 Key Medicaid Political Issues: The state has been an early adopter of managed care with initially bringing in managed care programs into the state in 1993 and establishing the program statewide in 2006. The state has historically kept their cost per a beneficiary low in part because of the limitations on eligibility among certain high cost patients, potentially the high managed care penetration, and low Medicaid reimbursement rates. .

Medicaid Expansion Implementation: Georgia has faced little action surrounding the Medicaid expansion debate. The state legislature and governor’s office has been run by Republicans since 2012. There are a number of individual legislators that have introduced bills in recent years to expand Medicaid but they have largely failed to garner support. The Democratic nominee for governor, Stacey Abrams, is running on Medicaid expansion but it is unclear whether she has the authority to expand without legislative approval in the state. In 2014 the legislature prohibited the state from taking action on Medicaid expansion without the legislature’s approval and they also passed a law preventing state employees from advocating for Medicaid expansion.

General facts about Georgia Medicaid:

Medicaid program name:

CHIP Program name: PeachCare for Kids

Separate or combined CHIP: Separate CHIP

Medicaid Enrollment: 1.7 million

Total Medicaid Spending: $9.8 billion (FY2016)

Share of total population covered by Medicaid: 19%

Share of Children covered by Medicaid: 50% (estimate)

Share of Medicaid that is Children and Adults: 75%

Share of Spending on Elderly and people with disabilities: 45%

Share of Nursing Facility Residents covered by Medicaid: 75% (estimate)

FMAP: 67.9%

Expansion state: No

Number of people in expansion: NA

Work Requirement: No, proposal died in legislature


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