Study: More than 81,000 Middle Georgians lack health insurance

mstucka@macon.comMarch 13, 2014 

Study: More than 81,000 Middle Georgians lack health insurance

In a hunk of Middle Georgia, about one-fifth of the residents not yet senior citizens lacked health insurance in 2012, estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau suggest.

In all, the estimates suggested about 81,065 people did not have health insurance in 2012, an improvement from the 83,625 without health insurance the year before.

The Telegraph focused on Baldwin, Bibb, Bleckley, Crawford, Houston, Jones, Laurens, Monroe, Peach, Twiggs and Wilkinson counties. In those places, the Small Area Health Insurance Estimates suggest, about 18.5 percent of the population under 65 lacked health insurance, down from 19 percent in 2011.

But in some demographic groups, people remained about as likely to have health insurance as they were to lack it.

Working-age men with income levels at or below 138 percent of the poverty level were particularly hit hard, the Census Bureau shows, with men in Peach, Houston, Jones, Monroe and Crawford counties all within 4 percent of the 50 percent insured-uninsured mark.

For all people under the age of 65, the county of residence played little role in how many people didn’t have health insurance. All stayed fairly close to the 18.5 percent regional average, ranging from 16.4 percent in Houston County to 22.6 percent in Peach County. In Bibb County, the figure was 19.6 percent without health insurance.

People outside the age range of the Census Bureau study -- 65 and above -- typically are eligible for Medicare.

Others may be able to get health insurance through the Obamacare portal at www.healthcare.gov. People must sign up by March 31 to get coverage this year.

People without health insurance will pay a tax of at least $95 per adult or 1 percent of a person’s salary.

To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.

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