October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
This month, Cover Georgia celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness month and all the Georgia women who are affected by this disease, including Yosha Dotson. We also celebrate that Medicaid covers low-income women fighting Breast and Cervical cancers.
In 2010, when Yosha Dotson was 32 years old, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I was initially told that I didn’t qualify for Medicaid because I was ‘able-bodied,'” said Yosha Dotson. “United Way of Greater Atlanta helped me enroll in Women’s Choice Medicaid. Today I am alive and in remission.” Yosha doesn’t know if she’d be alive today had it not been for Medicaid, but she does know that she and her family would be in insurmountable medical debt without it.
But what about women who have low-incomes and other types of cancers? Medicaid doesn’t currently cover these individuals–but it could!
If Georgia leaders expanded Medicaid to low-income adults, it would give many more women access to health coverage and care before, during, and after their cancer diagnoses.
Closing Georgia’s coverage gap by expanding Medicaid would extend health insurance to more than 155,000 uninsured women in Georgia. These women are moms, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, neighbors, and friends. Too often low-income women fall through the gaps in our health care system, despite all of the hard work and love they invest in their families, at their jobs, and in their communities. Medicaid expansion would cover women’s full health care needs, including all cancers and other health concerns they may be facing.
Georgia ranks among the bottom ten states for women’s health insurance coverage and we cannot continue that pattern. Georgia women deserve better. Georgia women deserve Medicaid expansion.
How does closing its coverage gap help Georgia women?
Closing Georgia’s coverage gap by expanding Medicaid would increase access to care, help identify life-threatening diseases earlier (or prevent them altogether), and improve the likelihood that Georgia women survive and thrive afterwards. Medicaid expansion would help women and their health care providers detect cancer earlier and protect them from giant medical bills during treatment. Women with Medicaid coverage can visit a doctor or nurse annually for screenings that identify their risk factors for cancer (and other health conditions), or identify the disease when it is more easily treatable and survivable.
Medicaid would also shelter women and their families from having to worry about how they will afford treatment, helping to keep them financially stable as they navigate a scary health condition.
Medicaid expansion could also reduce long-standing cancer disparities in our state. Black women have higher cancer incidence rates than White women for all major types of cancer (except for breast cancer, lung cancer, and all cancers combined). When compared to all other races, Black Americans are the most likely of all races to have a late-stage diagnosis of cancers that have a recommended screening, and they experience the highest cancer death rates. These inequities can be reduced with the help of Medicaid expansion.
Join Cover Georgia and Doctors for America for a Medicaid expansion advocacy training!
Are you a health care professional or public health advocate who wants to learn about Georgia’s opportunity for Medicaid expansion and how to advocate for it?
Join Cover Georgia and Doctors for America for a FREE virtual training on October 21st. You will hear from your peers media experts, and others about how you can support closing Georgia’s coverage gap! You don’t want to miss this opportunity to connect with other health care providers and advocates across the state.
9:00 am-1:30 pm
Want to do more to learn more about Medicaid?
Find out who is already covered by Medicaid in Georgia, how Medicaid benefits our health care system, and much more with these resources:
- Medicaid renewals (also called “redeterminations”) are happening for all Medicaid members this year! Learn more on GHF’s landing page.
- Medicaid in Georgia
- Fast Facts for Medicaid Expansion
- Medicaid Matters for Georgia fact sheet
- Georgia Can’t Wait mini-documentaries about Glenwood & Cuthbert, Georgia
- Learn about Medicaid renewals and find resources to help spread the word to 2.7 Georgia Medicaid members!