You may be surprised to learn that nearly 25,000 veterans in Georgia are currently struggling without health insurance, according to a recent report by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report is titled, “Uninsured Veterans and Family Members: Who Are They and Where Do They Live?”, and says there are 1.3 million veterans under age 65 uninsured in the United States, and that about 40 percent of those could qualify for health coverage through Medicaid expansion. Here in Georgia, nearly 25,000 veterans would be eligible for Medicaid coverage if Georgia chooses to expand its program. That’s the number of veterans currently without health coverage whose incomes would qualify them for the expanded coverage. AARP Georgia is working hard with the coalition Cover Georgia to provide much-needed help to our veterans by fighting to expand affordable health care coverage to those currently without health insurance.
Here are just some of the ways Medicaid expansion would help Georgia’s veterans:
• Not all veterans receive Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care coverage. VA care is out of reach for low-income veterans who do not live near VA facilities or are unaware that VA care is available.
• VA eligibility is determined by other factors including service-related disabilities and income, and many veterans make too much money to qualify for VA assistance but not enough to afford insurance on their own.
• The need is particularly great for veterans who often have chronic health problems that may go untreated because they lack insurance coverage.
• Uninsured veterans’ families would also benefit from Medicaid expansion – the report says that more than half of those family members have unmet medical needs.
Are we doing enough for our uninsured veterans? This Memorial Day, help them by supporting Medicaid expansion in Georgia. Link here to sign the petition that asks Gov. Nathan Deal to say “yes” to Medicaid expansion.