12 On Your Side: Uninsured Georgians caught in gap between Medicaid and Obamacare

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / October 23, 2013

It's called the "Medicaid gap". Folks who do not qualify for Medicaid coverage but are too poor to get any tax credits under the new health insurance mandate.

"Its just gonna be tough. It's gonna be tough. Yeah, it's a concern for me," says Wade Herring. He just started a new job working for Access Wireless, a government supported program that helps folks get mobile phone service.

While he says it's a great opportunity, it doesn't come with health insurance coverage. Herring is among millions of Americans who are now required to sign up for health insurance coverage. "Well I'm just learning a little bit about the Affordable Care Act.

So far he says what he has found out is not looking too good. "I have a lot of concerns. They say we have a deadline and that if we don't make the deadline we're going to be charged.

A tax penalty. But an even bigger concern? He's worried that while he doesn't make much money, it may be too much to qualify for Medicaid and not enough to get any tax credits to help him pay for medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

According to a healthcare report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 5-million low income Americans will fall into that gap between Medicaid and Obamacare.

Eight percent of that number includes 400,000 Georgia residents. Herring fears he will likely be among those working folks who will not have insurance in 2014.

"I don't know but I'm going to go through the procedures to see," says Herring. Right now, more than 20 states including Georgia and South Carolina have rejected Medicaid expansion which would have closed the gap for millions of low income and uninsured.

A decision that has left Herring in limbo. We asked him what he will do if he does fall in the middle. "Well I'm just going to have to keep living one step one day at a time," says Herring.

ACA tax credits start when someone is making about $15,800 a year. Herring says he will make less than that but he says he will make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

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