Peach Pulse | #Southerners4MedEx, advocates guide to 2020 elections, & THANK YOU!


Tune in to the Southerners for Medicaid Expansion digital vigil

Georgia has come together with our Southern state peers for a new initiative called Southerners For Medicaid Expansion. Together we are calling for Medicaid expansion across our region as a powerful way to address racial disparities, effectively address COVID-19, and support rural hospitals and their communities.

Join Cover Georgia and Southerners for Medicaid Expansion tomorrow, October 1st at 7pm for a special digital vigil. Led by Stacey Abrams and Reverend William Barber, this #SouthernSolidarity event will remember the lives who have been lost and honor those still suffering from the denial of health care access during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please join us this tomorrow, October 1st for this moving call-to-action.

Thank you for taking action!

Cover Georgia logoOver 1,000 comments submitted to protect Georgians’ health care!

In August and September, we asked you (for the final time, we think) to weigh in on Governor Kemp’s plans to remake Georgia’s private health insurance system. You did it again! By last week’s deadline, Georgians submitted 1085 comments telling federal health officials that they do not support Gov. Kemp’s plan to dismantle and leave consumers at the mercy of for-profit insurance companies. Thank you for speaking up!

Federal health officials will now review Governor Kemp’s health care plan and by mid-February, will decide whether or not to approve it. GHF and the Cover Georgia coalition will keep you updated on the latest developments and action opportunities. Stay tuned!

Georgians in the Driver’s Seat wants to hear from you

Fill out our updated survey for a chance to win!

Georgians experiencing some of the biggest challenges getting to and from health care services rely on non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). NEMT is a free service for Medicaid members who do not have their own means of transportation to get to health appointments and services. The program is especially important for people with disabilities, seniors, rural residents, and people of color, but sometimes it falls short of its promise.

In order to ensure NEMT works well for all Georgians who need it, we need to hear from the people who already use it! We updated the Georgians in the Driver’s Seat survey for the COVID-19 world, when transportation challenges may look different than they used to. Your responses help our team understand how we can best fight for a better NEMT system.

By filling out our newly updated survey you will be entered in a weekly drawing to win a $20 gift card. Enter the drawing at the end of the survey.

Know before you go!

A consumer health advocates guide to the 2020 elections

As this year’s election season begins (now through November 3, 2020!), Georgians have the opportunity to learn more about the elected positions on their ballots, the decision-making power each has, and how each impacts the health and well-being of Georgians. Voters’ decisions about this fall’s candidates up and down the ballot will have an unprecedented impact on our state’s COVID-19 response, other immediate consumer health issues, and long-term well-being in Georgia. Our Consumer Health Advocates Guide to the 2020 Elections blog series helps you understand the role that elected officials play in your health care and coverage. Read the series before you head to the polls:

*GHF is a non-partisan, 501(c)3 organization. We do not endorse or support any candidates or political party.

You are (virtually) invited!

Don’t miss GHF’s next Georgia Voices for Medicaid event!

Join Georgians for a Healthy Future and The Arc of Southwest Georgia on Wednesday, October 14th from 1-2 PM for the Georgia Voices for Medicaid community event. You will leave the interactive session with a better understanding of Medicaid and the role it plays for Georgians and in our health system. You will also develop skills to be an effective health care advocate and learn about resources to keep you up-to-date on the latest health advocacy opportunities in Georgia. This event will take place virtually. To attend, RSVP below and complete the pre-survey (it tells us if we’re doing our jobs well)!

GHF in the news

Kemp’s plan to block the federal ACA insurance exchange under fire
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | September 04, 2020

Inside Georgia’s latest attempt to change how people access Obamacare
PBS | August 28, 2020


Peach Pulse | Your final chance to comment! Southerners 4 Medicaid expansion, trivia night, & more!

The Final Countdown

Last week, federal officials kicked off what will likely be the final public comment period on Gov. Kemp’s plan to remake private health insurance in Georgia. We’ve once again made it as easy as possible for you to raise your voice in support of quality, affordable health care for all Georgians!

The Governor’s newly-revised plan is made up of two parts:

1. Reinsurance—which would help to lower premiums for health plans sold on through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace ( starting in 2022; and

2. The Georgia Access model—which would block Georgia consumers from the most widely-used and preferred way to shop for and buy health coverage and instead force Georgians to go through profit-driven insurance companies and web brokers

Health officials are asking for final comments from Georgians about the Governor’s plan. Submit your comment today. The deadline for comments is September 16th. Don’t miss your chance to say how this plan will affect you, your loved ones, and Georgians across the state.

Georgians with mental health or substance use conditions at risk under the Gov.’s plan

For the next few weeks, GHF & our Cover Georgia partners will be spotlighting some of the impacts that Governor Kemp’s plan will have on certain groups of Georgians. This week we are drawing attention to the significant risks posed by this proposal to Georgians with mental health and substance use disorders. The plan is likely to reduce access to MH and SU services, leaving Georgians with even fewer ways to get to find or maintain recovery. Learn more at and check back weekly for more!

Get Your Tickets!

Give ‘Em Health trivia night kicks off Sept. 15th! 

Our first-ever Give ‘Em Health trivia night is coming up in just a few short weeks! On Tuesday, September 15th, we promise a fun evening of friendly competition and fellowship, if you promise not to cheat by Googling the answers! In addition to supporting GHF’s advocacy for a healthier, more equitable Georgia, your trivia night ticket opens the (virtual) door to:

  • Mind-bending questions about health, politics, Georgia, and popular culture!
  • Special appearances by your favorite health advocacy celebrities!
  • Prizes for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams!

We have taken this event fully virtual to protect the health of all event attendees, but this won’t be another boring Zoom meeting. RSVP today and invite your friends to join your team!

Sponsorship opportunities are available

A Consumer Health Advocates Guide to the 2020 Elections

Elections of state senators & representatives are consequential for Georgia’s health

GHF is pleased to present our Consumer Health Advocates Guide to the 2020 Elections blog series!

This November Georgians will cast their votes for a state senator and representative to represent their local community in Georgia’s General Assembly for the next two years. Voters’ decisions about the candidates in these race will shape state laws related to health and health care, determine how state money is spent to keep Georgians healthy, and influence Georgia’s response to COVID-19 and the resulting economic recession. Despite being little known, Georgia’s state senators and representatives have real-life and consequential impacts on the health of our state. Learn about how your state legislators influence the health of your community in our new blog. Look for more blogs in this series in the coming weeks!

*GHF is a non-partisan, 501(c)3 organization. We do not endorse or support any candidates or political party.

Georgia Featured on Southern Storyteller Spotlight

GHF & advocates across the South launch new campaign for Medicaid expansion

Georgia is one of only 12 states that have yet to expand Medicaid so that low-income adults can have health insurance coverage. Georgia and seven other non-expansion states spanning the Southern U.S. have come together for a campaign called Southerners For Medicaid Expansion!

Last week GHF hosted Georgia’s Southern Storyteller Spotlight with Dr. Karen Kinsell of Clay County, Georgia as part of the Southerners for Medicaid Expansion campaign. Alyssa Green, spoke with Dr. Kinsell about the realities of health care in rural South Georgia, the difficulties faced by her neighbors and patients, and how Medicaid expansion is a vital part of building a prosperous, healthy future for rural communities. If you missed this great discussion, it is available now on GHF’s Facebook page!

Stay tuned for more events and advocacy opportunities in our Southerners for Medicaid Expansion campaign!

Join Our Mission

Your chance to join GHF’s board of directors!

Are you interested in shaping a healthy and more equitable future for all Georgians? GHF’s Board of Directors is seeking passionate and experienced advocates to join our mission. This is your opportunity to raise your voice, connect with like-minded people, and use your unique skills to make a difference on the health issues that matter most to you! Visit GHF’s volunteer page to let us know why you would make a great addition to our Board of Directors!

GHF in the News

Prices on Georgia’s insurance exchange shaping up to stay fairly stable
Gwinnett Daily Post | August 10, 2020

Insurance exchange prices to see small increases
Albany Herald | August 12, 2020



Peach Pulse | Trivia, Medicaid turns 55 & a new GHF team member!

Give ’em Health!


Join GHF for Give ‘Em Health trivia night on September 15th!


Our first-ever Give ‘Em Health trivia night is an exciting, energetic event that will bring together GHF friends and supporters for a health-themed trivia extravaganza. Join us on September 15, 2020 as we gather online for an evening of fun, friendly competition and some of the most topical health trivia we can come up with.

Give ‘Em Health trivia night will feature two rounds of mind-bending questions, special appearances by well-known guests, and healthy prizes for the top teams!

We have taken this event fully virtual to protect the health of all event attendees, but this won’t be another boring Zoom meeting. GHF’s dynamic trivia hosts will provide the music, fun, and entertainment that you expect from an in-person event! RSVP today and invite your friends to join your team!

Sponsorship opportunities are available


Celebrating 55 years of Medicaid!


Join us in celebrating the 55th anniversary of Medicaid!


Thursday, July 30, 2020 marks the 55th anniversary of Medicaid! The public health insurance program covers half of Georgia kids, half of births in the state, and three out of four Georgians in long-term care (like nursing homes). Without Medicaid, low-income Georgia families would have almost no way to enroll in health coverage. Now, the program is proving even more important as our state battles the coronavirus. Medicaid is key to Georgia’s COVID-19 response because it is one of the fastest ways for the federal government to send resources to Georgia and health care providers struggling to meet the needs of Georgia patients and families.

Here are four ways you can celebrate with us and support Medicaid on its 55th birthday:




GHF welcomes new Story Collection Coordinator


Last month, GHF welcomed Lois Hairston as its new Story Collection Coordinator. In this role, Lois will work to collect, develop, and amplify the stories of Georgia individuals and families so that their voices are heard as state leaders make decisions that impact their health. We are so pleased to have Lois join the GHF team. You can visit our website for more on Lois and for her contact information.


Welcome Lois by sharing your health story!


Your story is one of the most powerful tools available as we advocate for the health and wellness of Georgians. Sharing your real life experiences can shape the decisions made by Georgia’s leaders about the state’s response to COVID-19 and the economic recovery, Medicaid expansion, and a host of other health issues. If you are uninsured, recently lost your insurance, have sought COVID-19 testing or treatment, are caring for a loved one who is sick, or have another health care story to share, tell us a little bit about your experience here. Then Lois will get in touch to learn more. Thank you for your generous input!


Thank you for speaking up!


511 comments made about Gov. Kemp’s plan to dismantle


Three times now, we have asked you to be a health care hero by telling officials what you think of Governor Kemp’s plans to forgo Medicaid expansion and to erode consumer protections in private insurance. And once again you came through! By last Thursday’s deadline, 511 Georgians told health officials that they do not support Gov. Kemp’s plan to dismantle and leave consumers at the mercy of for-profit insurance companies. Thank you for speaking up!

Governor Kemp’s health care plan will now be sent to federal health officials who will ask for your input at least once more in the coming months.


Wrapping up the 2020 Georgia legislative session


Legislators join GHF to recap the 2020 Georgia legislative session


Following the close of the 2020 legislative session, Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute hosted a wrap-up conversation to highlight the session’s most important health-related outcomes. Special guests Senator Chuck Hufstetler and Representative Kim Schofield joined in to tell us how the legislature’s work will impact your health, health care, and health coverage. If you missed this great discussion, it is available now on GHF’s Facebook page!


Governor Kemp signs comprehensive surprise billing legislation


After five years of persistent advocacy about the heavy toll of surprise medical bills on consumers, Georgia has adopted comprehensive new protections that safeguard consumers’ wallets and access to care. On July 16th, Governor Kemp signed the Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act into law! Georgians for a Healthy Future and our partners at Georgia Watch are proud to have played a role in the adoption of this important consumer policy. Georgia is now the 16th state to adopt comprehensive protections against surprise medical bills, covering an estimated 2.5 million Georgia residents.


Updated weekly: Helping you manage COVID-19


GHF has new and updated resources to help you manage during the COVID-19 pandemic


GHF is dedicated to helping you understand and navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out these links for the most up-to-date information and resources.


GHF in the news


State Revises Insurance Waiver Request And Pushes Timetable Back
Georgia Health News, WABE | July 15, 2020

Georgia officials put insurance waiver plan on hold
Albany Herald | July 15, 2020

Kemp Signs Maternal Mortality, Surprise Billing Legislation Into Law
WABE | July 17, 2020


Peach Pulse | Our first annual report, mental health during COVID-19 & community health workers

Thank you!

Thank you for supporting GHF on #GivingTuesdayNow

Earlier this month you helped GHF and other non-profits celebrate #GivingTuesdayNow as we collectively respond to COVID-19! As the voice for Georgia’s health care consumers, GHF advocates for the state policies and systems that are essential for a strong, effective response to the pandemic. GHF will continue our efforts to protect and promote your health and well-being as the pandemic and its economic fallout evolve.


If you missed being a part of #GivingTuesdayNow, we hope that you will consider supporting our advocacy today. Donate here and consider making your donation a monthly gift. Thank you for your generosity and partnership!



Your support in action

The generosity of our donors has already contributed to a healthier, more equitable Georgia! The highlights of GHF’s 2019 work and the difference it makes for Georgia individuals and families is captured in our first-ever annual report! Download the report to find out how your donations mobilized community members, made pressing health issues visible in the media, and fostered collaboration with decision-makers and partner groups to achieve change for all Georgians.


Commenters are 9-to-1 opposed to Governor Kemp’s Medicaid Waiver

Outnumbered: Georgians ask for Medicaid expansion

GHF’s new analysis reveals that 9 out of 10 Georgians who commented on Gov. Kemp’s Medicaid plan were opposed to it. Most commenters preferred Medicaid expansion because it would cover more Georgians and makes more financial sense.

During a FaceBook Live conversation about the Outnumbered report last week, nationally-recognized Medicaid expert Joan Alker said, “A state like Georgia is tying one arm behind its back in responding to this pandemic by not picking up the Medicaid expansion because of Medicaid’s role as a first responder…the pandemic has laid bare the urgency and moral imperative with the kind of disparities that are shocking and just ripping our country apart.”

When state leaders reconvene at the state Capitol next month, they have the opportunity to take action on the issue. Ask Gov. Kemp and your state legislators to take swift action to expand Medicaid today!

Share the Outnumbered report with your family, friends, and social networks and ask them to take action for Medicaid expansion today!

Updated weekly: Helping you manage COVID-19

GHF has new and updated resources to help you manage during the COVID-19 pandemic

GHF is dedicated to helping you understand and navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out these links for the most up-to-date information and resources.


Your story is one of the most powerful tools available as we advocate for the health and wellness of Georgians. Sharing your real-life experiences can shape the decisions made by Georgia’s leaders about the state’s response to this crisis and our economic recovery. If you are uninsured, recently lost your insurance, have sought COVID-19 testing or treatment, are caring for a loved one who is sick, or have another health care story to share, we want to hear from you. Thank you for your generous input!


Community health workers, we need you!

Support your CHW peers by joining the Community Advisory Board 

The COVID-19 emergency, particularly the disease’s impact on communities of color, has drawn attention to the unequal health experiences that Community Health Workers (CHWs) encounter daily in their work. As part of the new Community Voices for Health— Georgia (CVHG) project, Georgia Watch, GHF, and our project partners are launching a Community Advisory Board to support CHWs’ efforts to make a difference in their communities through civic engagement and advocacy.

The CVHG project team is seeking five interested CHWs to join the Community Advisory Board. The Board will guide and advise the CVHG project so that it meets the real needs of CHWs and the communities they serve.

You can learn more about CVHG and the Community Advisory Board here.

When you’re ready to apply, complete the online application here.

GHF in the news

Pandemic Pushing Medicaid Numbers Higher As Many Lose Work
Georgia Health News, WABE | May 12, 2020

Commenters pan Kemp’s Medicaid expansion plan as too limited
Georgia Recorder | May 14, 2020

Study: More than 1.4 million Georgians lost health insurance
Valdosta Daily Times | May 20, 2020


Peach Pulse | Expanded COVID-19 testing, May events, & health advocacy from home

Stay safe, stay home, get tested

Staying home is still the best option

Thank you to everyone who continues to do their part to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying home! By staying home and following physical distancing guidelines you are actively helping to defeat this disease and protect Georgia’s essential workers. Even as Georgia moves to “re-open,” we encourage you to continue to fight COVID-19 by staying home if you have the option.


So that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy, don’t forget about these other healthy habits:

1. Avoid group gatherings and crowded businesses

2. Stay at least 6 feet away from people who do not live with you (That’s about 2 arm lengths!)

3. Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others

4. Wash your hands often

5. Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow

6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, faucet handles, and phones

7. Do not swallow, eat, or otherwise put any disinfectant or other cleaning product inside your body. If someone you know ingests a cleaning product, call the Georgia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222


Get Tested: Georgia has expanded who qualifies for a COVID-19 test

GHF remains committed to bringing you useable information and resources during this pandemic. Here are a few updates that you may find helpful:

Expanded COVID-19 testing—if you or someone you know meets these criteria, you may qualify for a COVID-19 test:

  • People with symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste and/or smell.
  • Healthcare workers, first responders, and other critical infrastructure workers
  • Persons living in long-term care facilities or other group residential settings
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • People with underlying medical conditions
  • Household members or caregivers of any of the groups above
  • People with symptoms who are not a part of any of the groups above may also be approved for testing, as capacity allows

You can find a test by contacting your primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Please do not show up at a testing site without an appointment.

Join us in May!

Are you in? Giving Tuesday Now is May 5th!

GHF is asking for your support on Giving Tuesday Now! Giving Tuesday Now will take place this Tuesday, May 5, 2020. This exciting and inspiring day aims to support non-profits across the U.S. as they respond to COVID-19. If you can afford to donate, we hope that GHF is among the non-profits that you support this Tuesday!



Your support of GHF:

        • Provides up-to-date information and resources to Georgians so they know how to stay healthy, and get help with their health, homes, or finances;
        • Activates health advocates across the state in support of policies that promote Georgia’s health and wellness;
        • Sends the stories of Georgia individuals and families, and the best available data, to Georgia leaders to inform their decision making; and
        • Brings together partner groups to collectively advocate for increased testing, strong consumer protections in public and private health insurance, Medicaid expansion, and the many other policies that are necessary to an strong, effective pandemic response.

Donate today to ensure that Georgians for a Healthy Future can remain a strong, responsive voice for all Georgians now and in the future!



Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day: Virtual Edition 

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day is May 7th! Join the Georgia Parent Support Network, Voices for Georgia’s Children, GHF, and others to advocate for children’s mental health. As the COVID-19 pandemic strains the mental health of Georgia children and youth and their ability to access behavioral health services, you can advocate for solutions! Be a part of this special day. This year’s event will take place online on Thursday, May 7th, 2020 from 9:00 – 10:30 am and you can register here.



Be a health care advocate from home

Your story is powerful. Share it with us!

Your story is one of the most powerful tools available as we advocate for the health and wellness of Georgians. Your real life experiences can shape the decisions made by Georgia’s leaders about the state’s response to this crisis and our economic recovery.  If you or a loved one have lost your health insurance; are uninsured; recently lost your insurance; have sought COVID-19 testing or treatment; have other physical or mental health needs that you are trying to address during this time; are working in a job that exposes you to COVID-19; or have another health care story to share, we want to hear from you. You can share your experiences here. Thank you for your generous input!


Be an advocacy leader with the Georgia Health Action Network

Join the Georgia Health Action Network (GHAN) for updates, tools, and opportunities for advocacy with GHF! GHAN is a volunteer consumer health advocacy program that aims to develop consumers into effective agents for change. GHF welcomes all who are interested to join our monthly GHAN calls. During these calls, GHF staff share current advocacy opportunities, best practices for engaging with policy makers about timely issues, and answer member questions about organizing for positive change.

Sign up for GHAN action alerts here and email GHF’s Outreach & Education Manager Alyssa Green if you’re interested in participating in the GHAN program!

GHF in the news

What Kemp’s shelter in place order means for Georgians
Georgia Health News, Coastal Courier | April 6, 2020

Staying Home: What Kemp’s Shelter-In-Place Order Will Mean
Georgia Health News, WABE | April 6, 2020


Peach Pulse | Be a health advocate from home & other COVID-19 updates

Stay safe, stay home

A few ways to spend your #StayHome time

Thank you to everyone who is doing their part to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 by staying home! As you avoid group gatherings, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently, you are actively helping to defeat this pandemic. The GHF team wants to give you a few other ways that you can be a health advocate while staying at home:

1. Fill out the Census at (The Spanish language version is available at—If you’ve already filled out your Census form, ask a friend if they’ve done theirs.

2. Thank a health care worker—we put together four custom coloring pages to say thank you to Georgia’s health care workers for their work to protect and heal Georgians during this time. Print, color, and share it with your favorite health care worker. If you share it on social media, tag us (@healthyfutureGA) so we can re-share!

3. Ask Gov. Kemp and your state legislators to expand Medicaid so fewer Georgians go untracked and untreated during this pandemic.

4. Keep up with GHF on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We will keep you updated with timely action alerts and Georgia’s health advocacy news.

Your health coverage, health care, and well being

How to access health care & use your health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic

During this pandemic, it is more important than ever that you to have the information and resources you need to navigate the health care and health insurance systems. Last week, we launched this page with information about how to access health care services and what to expect from your health insurance coverage if you need COVID-19 testing and treatment. The page also includes links to mental health resources, financial assistance for mortgage and rent payments, food assistance, and other help that you and your family may need. We will keep this page updated as things change and with links to helpful resources as they become available.


GHF is fighting for Georgians

An evidence-based public policy response is essential in fight against COVID-19

Georgians for a Healthy Future believes that our state can successfully overcome the current public health crisis if Georgians adhere to the advice of public health experts and our state’s leaders swiftly adopt evidence-based policies that protect the health and safety of all Georgians. GHF has identified a suite of public policies that we believe Georgia’s elected leaders must adopt in order to:


  • Maximize health system capacity and public safety;
  • Increase access to quality, affordable health care for all Georgians;
  • Center equity as part of the public health and economic responses; and
  • Meet the basic needs of Georgians and their families.

In the coming weeks, GHF will track which policies are fully implemented, partially adopted, or not taken up at all, and will provide updates accordingly. Follow along on our blog.

GHF in the news

Struggling rural health care system to get tested by COVID-19 outbreak
Georgia Recorder | March 17, 2020