The potential impact from Medicaid expansion would be bigger in rural Georgia than in urban areas of the state, according to a new report released Tuesday.
Medicaid expansion would benefit low-income people across the state, said the report, by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families and the University of North Carolina’s Rural Health Project.
But the rural Georgia rate of uninsured low-income residents, at 38 percent, reflects the higher potential coverage gain for those areas of the state, versus a 30 percent uninsured rate in urban areas.
States that expanded Medicaid saw more than three times as large a decline in the uninsured rates for low-income adults in rural areas and small towns than non-expansion states such as Georgia, the report said.
The uninsured rate for this population dropped sharply from 35 percent to 16 percent in rural areas and small towns in states that expanded Medicaid, compared to a much smaller decline from 43 percent to 38 percent for the same population in Georgia. The report studied the period between 2008/09 — before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed by Congress — and 2015/16.
Among the states that have not expanded Medicaid, Georgia has the second-highest uninsured rate for low-income rural adults, trailing only South Dakota.