Nearly 600,000 Georgians removed from Medicaid since last May

A man has filed a lawsuit against a doctor at the University of Washington Medicine after he was reportedly fighting for his life following an alleged botched surgery.

ATLANTA — Until May 2023, the U.S. government expanded who could qualify for the medical coverage programs as a result of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the emergency declaration for the U.S. officially ended in May, states went back to business as usual in terms of who qualified for the government-operated medical benefits.

That’s why Georgia, and the rest of the United States, began what’s called the Medicaid unwinding process. As of the end of February, nearly 600,000 Georgians have lost their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage, since the start of the unwinding process in May 2023.

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Before the unwinding process began, the Georgia State Auditor estimated roughly 545,000 Georgians would lose coverage through lack of eligibility. By Feb. 29, state officials reported 594,996 had lost their medical insurance, whether it was through Medicaid or CHIP.

According to data from the Georgia Department of Community Health, 504,312 Georgians’ coverage was terminated, while 92,682 were deemed to be ineligible for coverage through either program.

In February, Channel 2 Action News reported 41% of patients with Medicaid or PeachCare for Kids, the state version of CHIP, had lost their coverage by December.


In February alone, 36,202 Georgians’ coverage was terminated and 10,348 were deemed ineligible.

While more than half a million Georgians have lost medical coverage from Medicaid and CHIP since last April, the state said some of the residents deemed ineligible had been due to changes of circumstance, such as increased incomes, changing household compositions, aging out of coverage in CHIP cases or moving out of Georgia.

According to DHS, 32% of Georgians with February renewal deadlines were “procedurally terminated,” accounting for nearly 80% of all terminations that month.

At the end of May, Georgia’s Medicaid unwinding process will end, according to state officials. In June, Georgia will return to a typical redetermination and renewal process for Medicaid and CHIP beneficiary applications.

While the unwinding process continues through the end of May, Georgia set up a program called Pathways to Coverage to provide an opportunity for low-income Georgians to qualify for healthcare coverage with a work requirement. As of December, 2,344 state residents were actively enrolled in the program.

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