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New Georgia & Florida Health Plans Unlikely to Reduce Ranks of Uninsured

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Publication Date: July 2008

Publisher(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Judith Solomon

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Health (Health services for the uninsured)

Keywords: Health insurance; Health care costs; Economic inequality; Income diversity

Type: Report

Abstract:

This year, Georgia and Florida — states in which the percentage of people who are uninsured is well above the national average of 18 percent — have enacted legislation aimed at decreasing the number of uninsured residents.  However, these plans are unlikely to reduce the ranks of the uninsured:
-Because most uninsured people have low incomes, they need subsidies to help them afford coverage.
-The new Georgia and Florida initiatives lack such subsidies and thus will not benefit most uninsured residents.
-People who do enroll in Georgia’s high-deductible plans or Florida’s bare-bones plans will still be at risk for high out-of-pocket costs and unpaid medical bills.