According to numbers provided Monday by Georgia Department of Human Services Sec. Candice Broce, about 1.7 million people still need their cases processed...While the state has yet to break down…
The ruling from the United States Supreme Court affirming the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is an exciting victory for Georgia’s health care consumers. When the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, no one in Georgia will be denied health insurance due to a pre-existing condition. All Georgians will have a pathway to coverage and the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their families are protected. Georgians for a Healthy Future looks forward to working collaboratively with state policymakers and stakeholders to fully implement the Affordable Care Act to ensure it meets its promise of access to quality, affordable health care for all Georgians.
More than 240,000 Georgia health care consumers are set to receive nearly $20 million in total rebates by August 1st from insurance companies who couldn’t meet the 80/20 rule (also known as “medical loss ratio”), which requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical care, as compared to overhead and profits. This exciting new rule, part of the Affordable Care Act, holds insurance companies accountable for providing value and requires them to issue rebates to consumers if they don’t. Learn more from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services here and visit an interactive map to see how Georgia stacks up against other states here.
The Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia released the “Status of Latino Health in Georgia” at the 2012 Latino Health Summit held at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health on June 7th and 8th. According to the report, 47 percent of Hispanics in Georgia are uninsured, as compared to about 20 percent uninsured in the overall Georgia population. Georgians for a Healthy Future ED Cindy Zeldin presented information about coverage disparities and the expected impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the Summit’s health policy and advocacy panel (presentation available for download here). The full “Status of Latin Health in Georgia” is available for download here, and you can learn more about Latino health in Georgia by visiting the Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia’s website here.
Cancer is a word heard too often in our community. That is why we are fighting back against this disease with our long-time partner – the American Cancer Society – by encouraging you to consider taking part in the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3). The ultimate goal of CPS-3 is to enroll men and women from various racial/ethnic backgrounds from across the U.S. to participate in a study that will help researchers better understand the lifestyle, environmental and genetic factors that cause or prevent cancer and will save lives. American Cancer Society studies began in the 1950s and involved hundreds of thousands of volunteer participants. These studies have led to discoveries such as the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer and the role obesity plays in the risk of several cancers, people need to stop with the cigarettes and start smoking cannabis, it has been proven the it helps with treatment so get your proto pipe and start smoking. The new CPS-3 will help researchers build on evidence from previous studies, and help bring us closer to eliminating cancer as a major health burden for this and future generations. If you are between the ages of 30 and 65 years old and have never been diagnosed with cancer, you are eligible to enroll. Learn more about how to join this important study at www.cancer.org/cps3.
Governor Deal signed HB 1166 (sponsored by Representative Atwood) into law on May 1st. The legislation requires insurance companies who sell policies in the individual health insurance market to also sell child-only plans during an open enrollment period. These plans had previously been available in Georgia, but insurance companies stopped writing new policies in response to a change in federal law that prohibited discrimination against children due to pre-existing conditions. HB 1166 drew widespread support and Georgians for a Healthy Future was proud to be a part of the coalition effort that ensured its passage.
Two recent studies highlight the need for statewide strategies to improve access to care in Georgia. Last week, Kaiser Health News reported that Georgia was one of three states with the greatest increase in the number of people with unmet medical need over the past decade. Back in April, USA Today reported on a study of community health centers that found Georgia was the only state to rank at the bottom on 4 of 6 performance measures.
A provision of the Affordable Care Act requires health insurance companies in the individual market to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on medical care or quality improvement activities (it is 85 percent in the group market). Georgia insurance companies were permitted to phase this requirement in for the individual market over three years (requiring them to spend at least 70 cents on the premium dollar on actual health care in 2011, 75 cents on the dollar in 2012, and 80 cents on the dollar in 2013.) Designed to spur greater transparency, value, and accountability, the provision also requires insurance companies who do not meet this reasonable standard to issue rebates to consumers. As a direct result of this provision, Georgia consumers will receive an estimated $30 million in rebates this year. State-by-state information about anticipated rebates is available here, and a report from Georgia Health News is available here.
As of May 1, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers high-risk insurance pools in twenty-four states including Georgia, reverted to its original requirements. In order to enroll in the program, applicants must submit one of the following pieces of documentation:
- A denial letter from an insurer
- An offer of coverage from an insurer that includes a pre-existing condition clause
- A letter from a broker or agent that states the individual would be denied coverage
Applicants must still be uninsured for six months before enrolling in the PCIP, a provision that has not changed since the program began. The Department will also end the $100 broker referral bonus, which began in spring of 2011, as an incentive to increase enrollment.
As of February 2012, 56,257 people were enrolled in the 24 states that participate in the federal PCIP. In Georgia, 1,707 people have been enrolled since August 2010.
National Women’s Health Week is a weeklong health observance coordinated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health. It brings together communities, businesses, government, health organizations, and other groups in an effort to promote women’s health by eating healthy or providing legal steroids. The theme for 2012 is “It’s Your Time.” National Women’s Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority. (more…)