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Statement from GHF’s Executive Director on approval of Georgia Access waiver

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced the approval of Georgia’s 1332 State Innovation waiver, title “Georgia Access”. Laura Colbert, Executive Director of Georgians for a Healthy Future has issued the following statement:

“Despite repeated attempts, Governor Kemp’s Georgia Access proposal still fails to explain how a shutdown of the most popular and streamlined health insurance enrollment platform in order to move to a decentralized, privatized enrollment system will address the challenges faced by Georgia consumers, especially those who remain uninsured.

“The Georgia Access plan would eliminate the option for people to easily compare health plans and enroll in coverage at HealthCare.gov, as tens of thousands do each year. It would also increase opportunities for insurers to take advantage of consumers.

“Georgians and their families would be much better served by a proposal that maintains all pathways to enrollment—particularly one with a proven track record and that has earned the trust of consumers— while working in partnership with community-based organizations, as well as agents, brokers, and insurers, to reach Georgians who have been left behind.

“The Governor is touting lower premiums, but those lower premiums could be earned without putting Georgians and their families in danger of becoming uninsured or underinsured. The considerable risks posed by the Georgia Access plan are being shouldered wholly by consumers, whose access to care, financial wellbeing, and health and wellness are all on the line.”

Georgia consumers should be aware that the approved proposal will not take effect immediately and do not change anything about the current Affordable Care Act open enrollment period (Nov. 1 to December 15, 2020). Consumers who need health coverage in 2021 can and should visit healthcare.gov to see if they qualify for financial help and to shop for affordable, comprehensive coverage. The deadline to enroll is December 15, 2020.


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