NEWS & MEDIA
Georgians for a Healthy Future is frequently cited in news articles about health care issues, ensuring the consumer perspective is heard. Read news stories featuring Georgians for a Healthy Future’s perspective below.
A legislative panel heard testimony Wednesday on ideas for reducing the high number of uninsured people in Georgia through alternatives to a standard Medicaid expansion.
“We have a lot of work to do to bring in people who aren’t in it yet,” Colbert said. “Many of them are eligible for tax credits and financial assistance and don’t know they are.” But even if all of those signed up, Georgia would still face a significant coverage gap of 300,000 people who do not currently qualify for Medicaid coverage or the Marketplace. “Most of them are working in low-income jobs that do not provide benefits,” Colbert said.
Cindy Zeldin of Georgians for a Healthy Future pointed to the impact of expansion on coverage rates. “The success of other states around the country, including Southern states like Kentucky and Arkansas, in driving their uninsured rates down below 10 percent shows that we can do it too.” she said. “Closing the coverage gap in Georgia would help put us on this path.”
“Consumers who live in states that have expanded Medicaid are seeing lower-cost marketplace plans than consumers in states that have not expanded,” said Laura Colbert, director of outreach and partnerships for Georgians for a Healthy Future, an advocacy group that supports the ACA. “Georgia’s decision not to close its coverage gap may have had a negative effect on marketplace enrollment, thus undercutting the success of insurance carriers in the state and influencing their decisions to participate in Georgia’s marketplace.”
Cindy Zeldin, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future and head of the Cover Georgia coalition, called the task force’s options “a strong starting point.” She added: “We look forward to a statewide conversation in the coming months about the best approach to ensure all Georgians have a pathway to coverage and access to care.”
A widely anticipated plan to reduce the number of Georgians without health coverage, unveiled Wednesday, takes a unique, conservative approach to Medicaid expansion. The plan, created by a health care task force, contains three proposals with differing eligibility standards and designs. The group’s leaders said Wednesday that they hope the options will serve as a kick start for discussion this fall and into next year’s General Assembly session.
A health care task force created by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce released its much-anticipated report on ways the state could expand medical coverage to the uninsured Wednesday, outlining three paths for lawmakers to consider this coming legislative session.
“This is still a market that’s young, and it’s changing and maturing,” Zeldin said. “And carriers seem to be moving in and out as they determine whether or not they want to be in long term.”
The state insurance department Tuesday approved an average premium increase of 21.4 percent for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia for the 2017 health insurance exchange in Georgia.
Advocacy groups such as Georgians for a Healthy Future emphasize that consumers should shop around during open enrollment to find the best plan for them.
Insurance exchanges were created under the Affordable Care Act, and Georgia, like most states, has opted to leave the running of its exchange up to the federal government.