Peach Pulse | HCU 2023, get covered, new illustrated resource, fall giving with GHF, & more!

 

October 2022

JOIN GHF FOR HEALTHCARE UNSCRAMBLED 2023!

Health Care Unscrambled is back in person on January 10th!

Please join Georgians for a Healthy Future for our 13th annual Health Care Unscrambled!

Health Care Unscrambled is a special, annual opportunity for health advocates and stakeholders to hear from state policymakers about what they plan to tackle in the year ahead, and to better understand the health experiences of Georgia consumers. After two years of virtual programs, we look forward to the in-person networking and collaboration that Health Care Unscrambled always sparks!

Please plan to attend on Tuesday, January 10th for Health Care Unscrambled 2023! RSVP today! We look forward to seeing you there.

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

 

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Peach Pulse | Suicide Prevention, new public health training, housing survey, & more!

 

SEPTEMBER 2022

EVENTS AT GHF: TODAY & THANK YOU!


 

 

Recognize Suicide Prevention Awareness Month with GHF on Facebook TODAY!

Georgians for a Healthy Future will discuss suicide awareness and prevention on FaceBook TODAY, September 28th, at 1pm! Deanna Williams and Knetta Adkins will be joined by Miriam Goodfriend, Advocacy Coordinator at the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Georgia, to discuss mental health resources and information.

Their engaging conversation will cover taboos related to suicidality and how Georgians can increase access to mental health resources in their communities.They will also discuss a special open enrollment period to help more Georgians get health insurance, which covers mental health as an essential health service.

Tune in today, September 28th, at 1pm to GHF’s Facebook page!


Thank you for coming to GHF’s Family & Friends Reunion! 

Almost two weeks ago, the GHF team, our colleagues, partners, and supporters came together to reconnect at GHF’s Family & Friends Reunion. Against a city sunset, we shared advocacy ideas, kicked off GHF’s new strategic plan, and enjoyed each other’s company.

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and participate in this fun evening! We would also like to thank our generous sponsors for supporting this summer celebration. Our year-round advocacy is stronger because of your partnerships and gifts. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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Peach Pulse | Breastfeeding, Family & Friends Reunion, 10 years without Medicaid expansion, & more!

 

August 2022

JOIN GHF VIRTUALLY AND IN PERSON!

 

 

 

 

 

Recognize Breastfeeding Awareness Month with GHF on Facebook Live tomorrow!

Georgians for a Healthy Future will discuss breastfeeding and maternal health on FaceBook Live this Wednesday, August 31st, at noon! Deanna Williams, Health Insurance Navigator, and Knetta Adkins, Organizing Manager, will be joined by Patricia Prime, Owner of Prime BabyTime Consulting, to discuss breastfeeding resources and information.

Their energizing conversation will cover racial disparities in breastfeeding, highlight the current infant formula shortage and Georgia’s response, and other aspects of infant and maternal health.  They will also discuss what mothers and parents need to know about health insurance, and a special open enrollment period to help more Georgians get covered.

Tune in tomorrow, August 31st, at 12pm to GHF’s Facebook page!


Only two weeks to go until GHF’s Friends & Family Reunion! Will you be there? 

GHF has seen your virtual advocacy and felt your support since March 2020, but we’ve missed being together with our friends, colleagues, supporters, and partners. We are inviting you to reconnect with us and see some familiar faces at GHF’s Friends & Family Reunion event on Thursday, September 15th!

Join us as we take in sky line views of atlanta, sip refreshing mocktails and cocktails from TippyTap’s Italian beverage mini-truck, and snack on appetizers from one of Atlanta’s favorite taco makers. Catch up with advocacy leaders, public health professionals, policy makers, and our GHF team.

Our board and staff have welcomed new members, we’re kicking off a new strategic plan, and we’re just as dedicated as ever to building a healthy, equitable Georgia. We hope to see you soon as we celebrate our new directions and reconnect with our favorite colleagues.

Attendance is free, and your donations are appreciated. Thank you to our generous sponsors!

 

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Peach Pulse | Medicaid b-day, GHF’s new strategic plan, Friends & Family Reunion, Pride Month conversation, & more!


July
2022

CELEBRATE MEDICAID’S 57TH ANNIVERSARY!!

Join GHF in celebrating the 57th anniversary of Medicaid! 

Georgians for a Healthy Future celebrates the 57th anniversary of Medicaid this Saturday, July 30th! Fifty-seven (57) years ago Medicaid was signed into law and since then has worked to provide affordable health care coverage to low-income children, pregnant people, people with disabilities, and seniors. One of Medicaid’s biggest lifetime achievements has been to narrow racial disparities in health care access all across the country.

GHF continues to fight for Medicaid expansion in throughout Georgia so that all Georgians receive the health care they rightfully deserve! While we continue to advocate for the Georgia adults who have been left behind by state leaders, let us take this day to celebrate all Medicaid has done for our state and will hopefully do in the future. Tune into GHF’s Facebook and Twitter page to join in on the celebration of this monumental day! 


What is Medicaid doing for Georgians families? 

Hear from Hannah, a Georgia mother on how Medicaid helped her family afford the proper care when adopting their two sons. Watch here! 

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Peach Pulse | Tomorrow’s pride month convo., Cover Georgia survey, Save the Date: summer fundraiser & more!


June
2022

CELEBRATE PRIDE MONTH WITH GHF!

 

Join GHF in celebrating Pride Health Month via Facebook Live! 

Georgians for a Healthy Future will host a Pride Month discussion on FaceBook Live TODAY, June 29th, at 12pm. Treylin Cooley, GHF’s Health Insurance Navigator, will be joined by George Dingle, WeRU radio host, and Nathan Towndson, HIV advocate and Ryan White Planning Council representative, to highlight the intersection of Pride month and Men’s Health Awareness month.

Their energizing conversation will inform audiences about PRIDE and men’s health month, while highlighting resources that provide support for LGBTQIA+ community and men’s services program in Dekalb County. The group will also discuss a new special enrollment period to help more Georgians get covered, and identify how insured and uninsured Georgians can access mental health services.

Tune in TODAY, June 29th, at 12pm to GHF’s Facebook page!

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Peach Pulse | Tomorrow’s mental health convo., free policy workshop, volunteer with GHF & more!

 

May 2022

CELEBRATE MENTAL HEALTH MONTH WITH GHF!

Join GHF in celebrating Mental Health Month via Facebook Live! 

Georgians for a Healthy Future will host a Mental Health Awareness Month discussion on FaceBook Live tomorrow, May 25th. GHF’s Knetta Adkins, Deanna Williams, and Treylin Cooley will be joined by joined by Camila Gomez, Center for Pan Asian Community Services, Inc. (CPACS) and Tom Lui, DLWellness, LLC to highlight the intersection of MH Awareness Month and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Their energizing conversation GHF will highlight a new Georgia law that improves insurance coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. The group will also discuss a new special enrollment period to help more Georgians get covered, and identify how insured and uninsured Georgians can access to mental health services.

Tune in tomorrow, May 25th, at 12pm to GHF’s Facebook page!


GHF also celebrated Mental Health Awareness Month at two other events. We were so pleased to participate in Children’s Mental Health Day at the Capitol and the Rosalyn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum. We are happy to continue the incredible mental health advocacy from the legislative session through May and through many months to come.

 

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Peach Pulse | Join GHF’s housing leadership group, how a tax credit impacts health, share your health care story & more!

 

APRIL 2022

GEORGIANS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES:

HELP GHF IMPROVE HOUSING & SUPPORT SERVICES!

Join GHF’s housing leadership group now! 

Georgians for a Healthy Future is looking for people with developmental disabilities (DD) and family members/caregivers of people with DD to help lead a new project. The project, funded by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, aims to improve housing and support services for Georgians with DD by researching current barriers to housing and potential policy solutions to address these barriers.

Leadership group members will help direct the project. Your input will ensure that the research is accessible and representative of Georgians with DDs. Members will help decide what we ask Georgians with DD about housing, help GHF interpret the survey results, and share the results with their communities.

Each member will be asked to participate in one 2-hour meeting per month. The meetings will begin in May 2022 and end in spring 2023. Each member will receive $25 for every meeting they attend.

If you think you would be a good fit for the leadership group, please fill out this form to learn more. If you know someone that you think would be a good fit, please share!

 

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Peach Pulse | ACTION ALERT, Cover GA advocacy day, 12 years of ACA, share your health care story & more!

 

MARCH 2022

LEGISLATIVE SESSION COMING TO AN END

Georgia’s 2022 legislative session ends next week!

Georgia’s 2022 legislative session is set to wrap up soon! Monday, April 4th will be the final day of session, also called “Sine Die”. You can find a full list of health-related legislation, including whether or not a bill is still awaiting a final vote, at GHF’s legislative tracker here. You can also follow the live House & Senate debates and votes at legis.ga.gov.

If you missed this week’s legislative update (or any of the legislative updates since January), catch up by visiting GHF’s blog!

What more can you do before the end of session?

Ask your Georgia state Senator to approve the Georgia Mental Health Parity Act when it comes to the floor for a vote today!

This morning, the Senate Rules committee took decisive action and restored pro-consumer, pro-recovery parity language that had been removed earlier this week. The fix restores the original intent of the Georgia Mental Health Parity Act—to expand access to mental health and substance use services for Georgians.

Now is the time! Please call or email your Senator to say why you support this bill and to ask for their strong support too.

 

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Peach Pulse | Legislative session, Cover GA save the date, share your health care story & more!

 

FEBRUARY 2022

ADVOCACY DURING THE 2022 GEORGIA LEGISLATIVE SESSION

 

GHF at the Capitol

As the 2022 legislative session progresses, GHF is speaking up for the health and well-being of Georgians. Here’s what we’re working on so far this session:

  • The Mental Health Parity Act—as a member of the Mental Health Public Policy partnership, GHF testified in support of the bill during its first hearing in the House Health & Human Services committee. Learn more about this bill here.
  • Strengthening Georgia’s public health system—GHF encouraged the House Health Appropriations subcommittee to sustainably fund a bigger public health workforce and effective public health programs.
  • GHF has weighed in on bills that would extend postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months (SB 338); improve affordability of prescription drugs for some Georgians (HB 867); increase transparency of insurance coverage of mental health & substance use (SB 342); and add vaping to Georgia’s Smoke-Free Air Act (HB 1348).   

Follow GHF’s legislative tracker and read our weekly legislative updates to follow the action under the Gold Dome. 

 

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Peach Pulse | Thank you, what’s happening with Kemp’s waivers, & more!

 

JANUARY 2022

HEALTH CARE UNSCRAMBLED AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND!

Thank you for (virtually) joining us!

Thanks to you, GHF’s 12th annual Health Care Unscrambled was a huge success! We were thrilled to have so many advocates, policy makers, health care providers, and public health professionals join us for this year’s virtual event!

HCU 2022 available!

Missed this year’s Health Care Unscrambled? No worries! Recording of this event is available hereOur digital program also features information about our speakers and special guests, presentation slides and materials, and HCU’s generous sponsors.

Don’t forget! GHF has you covered for the 2022 Georgia legislative session. Review GHF’s 2021-2022 policy prioritiestrack health-related legislation, and contact your elected officials on our website and in your inbox each week.

 

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Peach Pulse | Thank you, mark your calendars, get covered & more!

 

DECEMBER 2021

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Thank you for your support!

Thank you for choosing GHF on Giving Tuesday! Your generous donations warm our hearts, and help us mobilize health advocates across the state in support of policies & laws that promote Georgia’s health and wellness. Advocacy is year-round work. Your support is essential for GHF to remain a strong, responsive voice for Georgians and their famliies. Thank you!

If you didn’t get a chance to donate and can afford to, it’s not too late! Consider becoming a monthly donor and let GHF know we can count on you for the long haul!

Give once to show your support twice!

GHF hosts two great events each year. You can show your support for our work with a sponsorship! Health Care Unscrambled will take place on January 11, 2022 and Give ‘Em Health trivia will be held later in the year. Two great events! Give once to support GHF’s important work twice in 2022!

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Get your tickets for HCU 2022!

Next month GHF will kick off the Georgia legislature’s health care conversations at Health Care Unscrambled. This breakfast brings together legislators, advocates, and national thought leaders to discuss the most pressing health issues facing Georgians and solutions that build a healthier state.

We hope you will join GHF, Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, and a bipartisan legislative panel for Health Care Unscrambled on Tuesday, January 11th at 7:30 am. Limited in-person attendance is available (with masks & proof of vaccination), along with a virtual streaming option. RSVP today to secure your spot!

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Get covered now! Deadline is approaching soon! 

Healthcare.gov is open for business through January 15th! You can browse available plans now and enroll in affordable, comprehensive coverage for 2022. Even if you’ve shopped for health insurance in the past, now is the time to visit healthcare.gov again. New financial help is available to many more Georgians than before. If you or someone you know needs health insurance in 2022, now is the time to get covered!

Have questions or need help? Connect with health insurance navigators Treylin Cooley and Deanna Williams:

  • Treylin Cooley, tcooley@healthyfuturega.org, (470) 654-5484. Special focus on LGBTQ+ Georgians.
  • Deanna Williams, dwilliams@healthyfuturega.org, (470) 654-5509. Special focus on middle Georgia (in the Macon/Bibb Co. area)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

SPEAK UP! TAKE ACTION!
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Gov. Kemp wants to make health insurance harder for Georgians. Comment today!

Federal health officials have asked—likely for the last time—for your opinion on Governor Kemp’s proposal to remake health insurance in Georgia. Your comments become part of a powerful legal record that may protect Georgians and their families from a plan that will only make health insurance harder. Don’t miss your chance to say how this plan will affect you, your loved ones, and Georgians across the state. Comment today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

GHF IN THE NEWS

Advocates rally against plan to bypass healthcare.gov as feds seek public input
Georgia Recorder | December 7, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATES IN GEORIGA
Shareable Graphics: Omicron Variant
Public Health Communications Collaborative

As scientists and public health officials learn more about the Omicron variant, we will keep our resources updated with key messages to support your communications.


COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots
Center for Diease Control and Prevention 

More information on who can get boosters shots, when to get them and which booster shot to choose from. 


First case of COVID omicron variant in Georgia resident detected
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

The first case of a highly mutated variant has been detected in a Georgia resident, health officials said. 

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Peach Pulse | Comment period, Giving Tuesday, HCU 2022, ACA open enrollment, & more!

 

NOVEMBER 2021

TWO WAYS TO HELP

 

Protect the progress we’ve made. Tell federal health officials that Georgians want to keep healthcare.gov! 

Federal health officials are re-examining Governor Kemp’s plan to reshape private health insurance in Georgia. As part of this important legal process, they have asked the public to weigh in. This is your chance to speak up and protect access to affordable, quality health care in Georgia! 

The Governor’s plan was a bad fit for Georgia when it was put forward in 2019 and it’s an even worse fit for our state today. Many more Georgians rely on the ACA Marketplace now because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of more generous financial help. Georgia’s marketplace is finally making progress and this plan would only reverse those improvements. Learn more & comment today!


Today is Giving Tuesday! 

GHF is asking for your support today. If you can afford to donate, we hope that GHF is among the non-profits to which you choose to give!

Your support activates a network of health advocates across the state in support of policies that protect and promote the health and well-being of every Georgian. Donate today to be part of a powerful, statewide movement of Georgians armed with stories from their communities and the best data available working to reshape our laws and policies. Together we can build a healthy, equitable Georgia!

Thank you!

 

 

DON’T FORGET
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Get your tickets to see Dr. Georges Benjamin at HCU 2022!

At Health Care Unscrambled, you will hear Dr. Benjamin’s perspectives on rebuilding our public health systems following COVID-19; how to protect public health from politicization; and public health’s role in the elimination of racial and geographic health disparities. We so pleased to welcome such a distinguished guest to HCU 2022!

We hope you will join GHF & Dr. Benjamin for Health Care Unscrambled on Tuesday, January 11th at 7:30 am. Limited in-person attendance is available (with masks & proof of vaccination), along with a virtual streaming option. RSVP today to secure your spot!

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Now is the time to get covered! 

Healthcare.gov opened for business on Monday, November 1st! Consumers can browse available plans now and enroll in affordable, comprehensive coverage through January 15, 2022. Even if you’ve shopped for health insurance in the past, now is the time to visit healthcare.gov again. New financial help is available to many more Georgians than before. If you or someone you know needs health insurance in 2022, now is the time to get covered!

Have questions or need help? Connect with health insurance navigators Treylin Cooley and Deanna Williams:

  • Treylin Cooley, tcooley@healthyfuturega.org, (470) 654-5484. Special focus on LGBTQ+ Georgians.
  • Deanna Williams, dwilliams@healthyfuturega.org, (470) 654-5509. Special focus on middle Georgia (in the Macon/Bibb Co. area)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

ADVOCACY IN ACTION
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
U.S. House passes 4-year coverage gap fix in Build Back Better Act 

On November 19th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act. The bill would close the coverage gap through 2025 for 2.2 million Americans in Georgia and 11 other states that haven’t expanded Medicaid. GHF is grateful for the efforts of our health care champions in the House for their monumental work—and to you for flexing your advocacy muscles! We encourage the Senate to urgently approve the same bill so that uninsured Georgians who have been left behind for almost a decade can easily and affordably access health care. Join us in urging the Senate to act today! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


GHF hosts HHS Director of Intergovernmental & External Affairs for roundtable discussion 

Last month, GHF hosted a roundtable discussion with Marvin Figueroa, Director of the Office of Intergovernmental & External Affairs at the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services. The discussion was an opportunity for health advocates and providers to share the health issues most impacting Georgians and to exchange ideas with federal health officials about how to best work together to resolve them. GHF was honored to host this collaborative conversation! We look forward to future opportunities to learn and share with policy makers at all levels of government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

GHF IN THE NEWS

Federal Medicaid workaround called short-term substitute for Georgia expansion
Georgia Recorder | November 4, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATES IN GEORIGA

Updated Toolkit: Children and COVID-19 Vaccination
Public Health Communications Collaborative

On November 2, the CDC recommended that children age 5-11 get a COVID-19 vaccine, expanding pediatric vaccine eligibility to all children and adolescents age 5 and older.


Office of the Surgeon General: Toolkit to Address Health Misinformation
Public Health Communications Collaborative

The Surgeon General’s Community Toolkit for Addressing Health Misinformation provides specific guidance and resources for health care providers, educators, and community members to understand, identify, and stop the spread of health misinformation in their communities.


The FDA authorizes COVID booster shots for all U.S. adults
NPR

The Food and Drug Administration has given its OK for fully vaccinated Americans who are age 18 and older to receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

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Peach Pulse | Coming Up Short recap, ACA open enrollment, & more!

 

OCTOBER 2021

AVAILABLE NOW! AFFORDABILITY, ACCESS,
AND PUBLIC POLICY FIXES FOR GEORGIANS

 

Thank you for (virtually) joining us!

Thank you for attending “Coming Up Short: Affordability, Access, and Public Policy Fixes for Georgians”! We enjoyed an insightful conversation about the results of Altarum’s Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey (CHESS) and Georgians’ struggles with health care affordability. 

The survey results revealed that the majority of Georgians struggled to afford care in the past year and even more are worried about affording care, including COVID-19 treatment, in the future. Additionally, the survey found broad, bipartisan support for government measures to address high health care costs. You can find the full report and survey results here. If you’d like to watch the program & great discussion with our guests, click here

Don’t forget! GHF and local partners will be hosting regional forums to discuss the local survey results and region-specific drivers of high health care costs. You can register for the Nov. 3rd Southewest Georgia forum here and the Nov. 10th East Georgia forum here.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Please join Georgians for a Healthy Future for our 12th annual Health Care Unscrambled!

Health Care Unscrambled is a special, annual opportunity for health advocates and stakeholders to hear from state policymakers about what they plan to tackle in the year ahead, to learn about emerging health policy issues from nationally-renowned experts, and to better understand the health experiences of Georgia consumers.

Because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, GHF’s Health Care Unscrambled 2022 will be streamed statewide online. (An in-person attendance option with appropriate safety precautions is TBD.)  

Please plan to join us on Tuesday, January 11th for Health Care Unscrambled 2022! RSVP today! We look forward to seeing you there.

Sponsorship opportunities are available.


Open enrollment begins this Monday!
Healthcare.gov opens for business this Monday, November 1st! Consumers can browse available plans now and enroll in affordable, comprehensive coverage from November 1, 2021 to January 15, 2022. Even if you’ve shopped for health insurance in the past, now is the time to visit healthcare.gov again. New financial help is available to many more Georgians than before. If you or someone you know needs health insurance in 2022, now is the time to get covered!

GHF’s health insurance navigators are available to help! 

Please meet Treylin Cooley and Deanna Williams, GHF’s two new health insurance navigators. Treylin and Deanna are available to help you and your loved ones understand your health insurance options, get enrolled, and use your coverage. Contact Treylin and Deanna directly with your health insurance questions:

  • Treylin Cooley, tcooley@healthyfuturega.org, (470) 654-5484. Special focus on LGBTQ+ Georgians.
  • Deanna Williams, dwilliams@healthyfuturega.org, (470) 654-5509. Special focus on middle Georgia (in the Macon/Bibb Co. area)

Follow GHF on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to learn and share messages about the opportunity to enroll in health insurance, the availability of financial assistance, and how to find enrollment help.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

GEORGIA VOICES FOR MEDICAID TRAININGS CONTINUE
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
GHF hosted 2 trainings in October, plans 2 more trainings for November

GHF hosted two Georgia Voices for Medicaid trainings this month. Both groups discussed ways to increase awareness of Medicaid for Georgians with developmental disabilities. Participants heard from GHF’s Knetta Adkins about who Medicaid covers, how it benefits the state, and how Georgians with a developmental disability and the people who support them can engage in advocacy in support of Medicaid.

Missed these trainings? Register to attend a training on November 4th or November 11th. RVSP below and complete the required pre-survery. Then you will recieve the Zoom link needed to attend the event. 

GHF endeavors to make our virtual discussions accessible to everyone. If you have questions about the accessible features or need to request accommodations, please contact Knetta Adkins at kadkins@healthyfuturega.org or 404-400-2715 at least 5 business days prior to the event. 

Click Here to Register for the November 4th Training:

Click Here to Register for the November 11th Training:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

GHF WELCOMES NEW STAFF
& MEDICAID EXPANSION

Daniel Nguyen, Deanna Williams and Treylin Cooley join the GHF team!

Daniel Nguyen is GHF’s new Administrative Assistant. In this role, he will support GHF’s growing team with day-to-day operations, office management, and other administrative functions. Prior to making the switch to the nonprofit sector, Daniel worked in finance in Washington, D.C. His lifelong passion and commitments are towards improving racial equity, and social and economic justice.

Treylin Cooley is a health insurance navigator focusing on Georgia’s LGBTQ+ community. Treylin is a social worker by training and has worked with many diverse groups from at-risk youth to military veterans, Treylin brings a grassroots perspective to his work and has made it his mission to advocate for equality for all from education to healthcare.

Deanna Williams is a health insurance navigator focusing in the Central Georgia area. In this role, Deanna will provide enrollment and outreach in specifically 10 counties surround the city of Macon. Deanna began her career at the Department of Family of Children Services in Bibb county and later on passed her CMS training to become a certified Medicare counselor for the State of Georgia.


We are pleased Daniel, Deanna and Treylin have joined our team! You can read more about them and find their contact information on GHF’s Staff & Board of Directors page.

GHF IN THE NEWS

Most Georgians struggling to afford health care, survey says
Georgia Health News | October 13, 2021


Majority of Georgians fear inability to pay for COVID treatment if infected, survey finds
Georgia Recorder | October 14, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATES IN GEORIGA

Toolkit: Halloween 2021 Safety Tips
Public Health Communications Collaborative

Halloween is around the corner! Download and share these communications resources – including safety guidance, an activity for kids, and social graphics – to help achieve a sweet and safe holiday in your community.


New Vaccine Resource Hub
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC Foundation launched a Vaccine Resource Hub developed to support individuals and organizations working to increase adult immunization across all communities, especially those experiencing racial and ethnic disparities.


Georgia health departments to offer COVID-19 booster shots
Fox 5 Atlanta 

Georgia officials say local health departments will begin offering more COVID-19 vaccine booster shots on Tuesday, Oct. 26, following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Federal fix gets closer, GHF’s October events, & CHW trainings

 

SEPTEMBER 2021

UPDATE ON BUILD BACK BETTER LEGISLATION

 

U.S. House proposal would close the coverage gap! 

We have a rare and urgent opportunity to fix Georgia’s coverage gap problem in Congress now! Earlier this month, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee unveiled a new bill that would permanently close the coverage gap in Georgia and 11 other states. This fix from Congress would apply to 2.2 million people living in states that have not offered Medicaid coverage to low-income individuals and families.

We are encouraged by this commitment from the House but there’s no guarantee that the proposal makes it into the final bill. Congressional leaders are negotiating the details of the final bill this week and they need to hear from you!

Please call or email the leaders of the U.S. House and Senate and your Democratic Congresspeople. Urge them to prioritize funding for a permanent and comprehensive federal fix in the Build Back Better reconciliation bill.

You can read more about the proposed coverage gap fix in the Build Back Better Legislation here.

 

PUT THESE GHF EVENTS ON YOUR OCTOBER CALENDAR
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Coming up Short: A discussion of affordability, access, & consumer views on policy fixes on October 14th!

Please join Georgians for a Healthy Future and a panel of health care leaders for the Coming Up Short policy forum. You will see the results of Altarum’s Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey, which asked more than 950 Georgia consumers about their experiences and views on a range of health system issues, including affordability, prescription drugs, confidence in using the health system, and views on potential policy fixes. The statewide and regional results shine a light on the most promising areas for action to address Georgians’ health needs. The forum will be held virtually on Thursday, October 14th from 9 – 11 am. Please join us!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bring your lunch to the Georgia Voices for Medicaid trainings!

Join Knetta Adkins, Organizing Manager, on the first and third Thursdays in October for the Georgia Voices for Medicaid lunch and learn from noon – 12:45 pm. These will be interactive sessions about health coverage, Georgians with developmental disabilities, and health advocacy. You will learn about who Medicaid covers, how Medicaid benefits the state, and how Georgians experiencing a developmental disability can engage in Medicaid advocacy.

To attend the October 7th or October 21st trainings, please RVSP below and complete the required pre-survery. Then you will receive the Zoom link needed to attend the event. 

Click Here to Register for the October 7th Training:

Click Here to Register for the October 21st Training:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

GHF & PARTNERS KICK OFF TRAINING FOR CHWS
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Community Voices for Health Georgia hosted its inaugural Civic, Advocacy, and Engagement training

Georgia Watch, GHF, & our project partners hosted the first Civic, Advocacy, & Engagement training in Atlanta on August 24-25. A small group of community health workers (CHWs) took part (with COVID-19 safety protocols in place), spending two sessions learning and growing as health advocacy leaders. The six-module training equips CHWs with important tools and resources to lead and mobilize their communities to advocate for solutions to local health needs and inequities.

Sixty CHWs have registered to attend these small-group trainings, which will take place across the state. Click here to learn more about the training.

The Community Voices for Health initiative is led by Altarum and Public Agenda, with funding from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Georgians for a Healthy Future is a statewide partner in this project, alongside Georgia WatchGeorgia ACT, and Morehouse School of Medicine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

GHF WELCOMES NEW STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Alex McDoniel joins the GHF team!

Alex McDoniel is a dynamic communications specialist with experience supporting all aspects of public relations, marketing and communication initiatives.

Prior to joining GHF, Alex worked in communications for former Governor Matthew Bevin of Kentucky’s administration, where she contributed to several significant workforce and economic development, education, and health care campaigns. She also supported communications and organizing strategies in various federal and state political campaigns and military non-profit groups. Alex earned her Bachelor’s degree from Murray State University, with a focus on public relations and political science.


We are pleased that Alex has joined our team! You can contact Alex at amcdoniel@healthyfuturega.org.

GHF IN THE NEWS

Georgia eyes new Medicaid contract. But how is the state managing managed care?
Georgia Health News | September 13, 2021


Drug price transparency could return as top legislative issue
Capitol Beat News Service | September 17, 2021


Exchange enrollment hits record level in state
Georgia Health News | September 22, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATES IN GEORIGA

COVID-19 booster shots: Who is eligible, where to find providers in Georgia
Fox 5 Atlanta

Both the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for older, at-risk adults. The Georgia Department of Public Health followed suit by saying it would follow the CDC’s guidance and recommendations regarding booster shots.

Boosters rolling out in Southeast Georgia News 4 Jax


COVID-19 accessible resources for people with disabilities
Georgia Tech

Georiga Tech’s Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation has created multiple resources to help people with disabilities more easily access, use, and share COVID-19 information. These resources include short vidoes, braille resources, accessible documents and PDF’s, ASL resources and many more


The COVID-19 Digest: A weekly analysis of Georgia’s COVID-19 data from an science communicator

Public health expert Amber Schmidtke looks at the trends of Georgia’s COVID-19 vaccinations, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. She presents her analyses in an understandable and useable way. 

MORE >

Peach Pulse | August 2021

 

AUGUST 2021

UPDATE TO MEDICAID COULD IMPROVE STUDENT HEALTH

 

New Georgia Medicaid change creates opportunity to invest in school health workforce

A new amendment to Georgia’s Medicaid program will now allow schools to bill for school nursing services provided to all Medicaid enrolled students. Previously, students needed an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in order for Medicaid to cover school nursing services, thus limiting the services schools could be reimbursed for.

Half of Georgia’s kids are covered by Medicaid or PeachCare, so this change is dramatic and creates an opportunity to bring in hundreds of millions of Medicaid dollars to Georgia’s school districts. The change to school Medicaid policy requires the Georgia Departments of Education and Community Health work together to ensure schools are able to successfully take advantage of this opportunity.

You can read more about the new update to Georgia Medicaid here or reach out to Whitney Griggs, GHF’s Health Policy Analyst, at wgriggs@healthyfuturega.org if you have questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

GIVE ‘EM HEALTH TRIVIA NIGHT IS THIS THURSDAY!
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Party with GHF & DJ WillyWow! on August 26!

GHF’s second annual Give ‘Em Health trivia night is tomorrow, Thursday, August 26th and today is the last day to register. DJ WillyWow is bringing his hype and fun to the celebration! In addition to DJ WillyWow’s award-winning party stylings, we will be recognizing state Representative Sharon Cooper for her impact on the health and well-being of Georgia children and families. Plus, the winning trivia team will go home with prizes and glory!

You won’t want to miss this great event! RSVP by today to join in the fun. Thank you for supporting GHF’s mission and work!

Sponsorships are available

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION VISITS WITH GEORGIA ADVOCATES
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Health and Human Services Secretary, Xavier Becerra, hosts conversation with Georgians

Earlier this month, GHF’s Outreach Manager Knetta Adkins, joined fellow advocates, Members of Congress, and community members in a round table discussion with HHS Secretary Beccera. The discussion was an opportunity for community leaders to share the health care concerns and challenges affecting Georgians with the Biden Administration. 

Knetta will share her take-aways from Secretary Beccera’s Georgia visit in an upcoming blog. We will share it on GHF’s FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn profiles so be sure your following us on your favorite social media platforms!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Tensions rise between Governor Kemp & Biden admin over Georgia’s ACA waiver

Back in June, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requested more data from Governor Kemp rabout his proposed ACA waiver, which would disallow Georgia from using healthcare.gov.  State leaders declined to provide updated data and information, instead suggesting that federal officials were not acting in good faith.

Now CMS has responded to that letter and given Georgia until August 29th to provide the requested data. CMS has said that if Georgia still refuses to provide the data, they will re-evaluate the data without the state’s input and “take appropriate action” if they find the waiver no longer meets federal guidelines. 

Confused about what’s happening with Gov. Kemp’s two health care waivers? Cover Georgia has the latest on this handy timeline.

 

SAVE THE DATE: POLICY FORUM ON SEPTEMBER 23RD
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Join GHF for a discussion of affordability, access, & consumer views on policy fixes on September 23rd!

Please join Georgians for a Healthy Future and health care leaders to discuss the results from the Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey, conducted by Altarum. The survey asked more than 950 Georgia consumers about their experiences and views on a range of health system issues, including affordability, prescription drugs, confidence in using the health system, and views on potential policy fixes. The statewide and regional results shine a light on the msot promising areas for action to address Georgians’ health needs. The forum will be held virtually on September 23rd from 9 – 11 am. Please stay tuned for more details!

GHF IN THE NEWS

Insurers flock to offer coverage in 2022 exchange; this year’s still open for a week
Georgia Health News | August 9, 2021


Biden vaccine mandate for senior homes prompts warnings of ‘dire’ Georgia nurse shortage
Georgia Recorder | August 19, 2021

MORE >

Peach Pulse | July 2021

 

JULY 2021
TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO GET ENROLLED! 

Special enrollment period for health insurance ends Aug. 15th

Help us spread the word: Georgians have less than one month before the August 15th deadline to enroll in affordable, comprehensive health coverage!

Under the new American Rescue Plan Act, 127,000 uninsured Georgians are newly eligible for financial help to lower their health insurance costs. Another 134,900 uninsured Georgians now qualify for zero-dollar ($0) premiums. Healthcare.gov is open through August 15th so consumers can shop and enroll! 

Here are a few resources that may help you or your loved ones get covered:

If you are already insured, share our posts on FaceBookTwitter, & LinkedIn to help us spread the word!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

GIVE ‘EM HEALTH TRIVIA NIGHT IS ONE MONTH AWAY!
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Party with GHF & DJ WillyWow on August 26!

GHF’s second annual Give ‘Em Health trivia night is coming up on Thursday, August 26th and DJ WillyWow is bringing his hype and fun to the celebration! DJ Willy Wow is an award winning songwriter, music producer, voiceover artist, and celebrity DJ who’s currently on SiriusXM Kids Place Live. In 2020, he was recognized as one of the top 20 DJs in the country during the pandemic by Parade Magazine.

You won’t want to miss this great event! RSVP before August 6th to receive a party pack in the mail with goodies and swag that will make your trivia night even more fun. Thank you for supporting GHF’s mission and work!

Sponsorships are available

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

PROGRESS FOR QUALITY, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE!
ACT NOW!
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
My Care Counts! Add your voice before the July 28th deadline! 

We all know that health insurance can be complicated. Enrollment periods, premiums, deductibles, and plan selection are confusing, if not overwhelming. Right now federal health officials are considering new rules that would make it easier and asking for your comments. These new rules would:

  • Make it easier to enroll in health insurance
  • Provide more consumer assistance to help people understand and use their health insurance
  • Restore protections so that Georgia and other states can’t make it harder for people to get covered or force people into plans with higher out-of-pocket costs

It’s especially important that health officials hear from Georgians like you! Add your voice to support these proposals!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


BREAKING: A fix for Georgia’s coverage gap proposed by Georgia’s U.S. Senators & Representatives!

Senators Warnock and Ossoff, and Representative Bourdeaux have introduced bills in Congress this month that would extend health coverage to low-income adults in Georgia and 11 other states that have failed to expand Medicaid! 

This fix would make health insurance available to as many as 500,000 uninsured Georgia workers, parents, veterans, and young adults. Early commitments from Congressional leaders like Hosue Speaker Pelosi and Senator Bernie Sanders provide hope that these proposals have a real chance at becoming law! 

While the exact policy details are still being shaped, it’s important that Georgia’s Senators and Representatives hear from you! Tell them that Georgians should no longer be shut out of health care because of where they live and that Congress should fix the coverage gap now. Speak up today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Gov. Kemp declines to provide more info. about his plan to separate Georgians from healthcare.gov

In June, federal health officials asked Gov. Kemp for more information about his plan to cut ties with the ACA’s health insurance marketplace (healthcare.gov). State leaders declined to provide updated data and information, instead suggesting that federal officials were not acting in good faith.

In response, GHF’s Executive Director said this: “The federal government is reasonably asking Georgia to prove that this plan meets the ACA’s standards.”

While we wait for state and federal policymakers to come to an agreement on next steps, we want to hear from you. Tell us what you think of the Governor’s plan to make it more difficult for Georgia consumers to get covered and stay covered.Your comment will be provided to federal health officials to urge them to protect Georgians from the Governor’s harmful plan.


Confused about what’s happening with Gov. Kemp’s two health care waivers? Cover Georgia has the latest on this handy timeline. See the latest developments on the Governor’s partial Medicaid expansion plan or his proposed changes to private health insurance.

 

REMINDER: LEARN ABOUT GEORGIA’S NEW
SURPRISE BILLING PROTECTIONS
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Find out how Georgia’s new surprise billing protections apply to you!

Georgia’s new Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act went into effect in January. Georgia is just the 16th state to have adopted comprehensive protections against surprise medical bills. GHF and Georgia Watch advocated for five years for this law that will protect an estimated 2.5 million Georgia residents from burdensome surprise medical bills. Learn more about how the new law protects you in our new factsheet here.


La Ley de Protección al Consumidor de Facturación Sorpresa entró en vigor en enero, lo que convierte a Georgia en el decimosexto estado que ha adoptado protecciones integrales contra facturas médicas inesperadas. Georgia Watch y Georgians for a Healthy Future abogaron durante cinco años por esta ley que protegerá a aproximadamente 2,5 millones de residentes de Georgia de costosas facturas médicas inesperadas. Si desea obtener más información sobre cómo lo protege la nueva ley, consulte nuestra nueva hoja informativa a continuación.

GHF IN THE NEWS

Warnock: “Fix” to help expand Medicaid in Georgia & other holdout states
Georgia Recorder | June 29, 2021


State tangles with feds in Medicaid showdown
Georgia Public Broadcasting | June 29, 2021


Georgia defends insurance waiver as company interest builds
Georgia Health News | July 7, 2021

MORE >

Peach Pulse | June 2021

 

JUNE 2021

TAKE ACTION TWO WAYS!  

 

 

Learn how to advocate for mental health & substance use equity

The Georgia Health Action Network (GHAN) is BACK for a summer conversation! Join us this Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 at noon as we discuss how mental health & substance use have been covered unfairly by health insurers. You will learn why these inequities are important, and how they can be improved in Georgia. We will also discuss how health advocates like you can urge Georgia policy makers to hold insurance companies’ accountable for inequitable and unfair coverage of mental health & substance use needs.

RSVP here this important conversation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Health officials ask for more public input on Gov. Kemp’s plan to block Georgians from the ACA’s health insurance marketplace

As GHF’s health policy analyst, Whitney Griggs, explains in a recent blog, a lot has changed since Gov. Kemp plan to cut ties with the ACA’s health insurance marketplace (healthcare.gov) was approved by the Trump administration. These recent changes have prompted federal health officials to ask for more information from Gov. Kemp about his plans. After Gov. Kemp provides the requested information, officials have said there will be a new public comment period so that Georgians and Georgia stakeholders can provide their feedback about the plan. That’s where you come in! 

Health officials need to hear from you and Cover Georgia has made it easy to participate in the comment period. Click here to submit a comment now! We’ll hold on to your comment until the comment period opens (likely in early July) and then send it to health officials. Speak up for health care today!


Confused about what’s happening with Gov. Kemp’s two health care waivers? Cover Georgia has the latest on this handy timeline. See the latest developments on the Governor’s partial Medicaid expansion plan or his proposed changes to private health insurance.

 

 

 

 

 


 

RSVP FOR GIVE ‘EM HEALTH TRIVIA NIGHT!
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Join us as a sponsor, with a team, or on your own on Thursday, Aug. 26th!

GHF’s second annual Give ‘Em Health trivia night is coming on August 26, 2021! If you weren’t able to join us last year, you won’t want to miss out on the fun again this year. There are three great ways to participate so you can pick the one that works best for you:

  • Sponsor the event! Sponsors generously support GHF’s mission, lead and participate with a trivia team, and benefit from the recognition of their support in GHF’s communications & event materials!
  • Be a team captain! Invite 4 friends and register your team of 5 here today. Teams that register early will get a special “party pack” to enhance their trivia night fun.
  • Participate on your own! RSVP and GHF will place you on a team with other individuals. You’ll have a great time meeting new health advocates!

No matter how you choose to participate, we can promise that you’ll enjoy the party, learn something new, and get re-connected with Georgia’s health advocacy community. RSVP today for Give ‘Em Health trivia on Thursday, August 26th at 7 pm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

JOIN THE GHF TEAM!
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
GHF is hiring! 

GHF is looking to fill two staff positions: Strategic Communications Manager and part-time Administrative Assistant. The Strategic Communications Manager will lead GHF’s communications, marketing, and public relations efforts. The Administrative Assistant will support day-to-day operations, office management, accounting, human resources, and other administrative functions. Both positions will work closely with the rest of the GHF team to build a healthy, equitable Georgia through policy change.

Please visit GHF’s Employment Opportunities page for more information about these positions and how to apply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT GEORGIA’S NEW SURPRISE BILLING LAW &
THE ACA IS HERE TO STAY!
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
Find out how Georgia’s new surprise billing protections apply to you!

Georgia’s new Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act went into effect in January. Georgia is just the 16th state to have adopted comprehensive protections against surprise medical bills. GHF and Georgia Watch advocated for five years for this law that will protect an estimated 2.5 million Georgia residents from burdensome surprise medical bills. Learn more about how the new law protects you in our new factsheet here.


La Ley de Protección al Consumidor de Facturación Sorpresa entró en vigor en enero, lo que convierte a Georgia en el decimosexto estado que ha adoptado protecciones integrales contra facturas médicas inesperadas. Georgia Watch y Georgians for a Healthy Future abogaron durante cinco años por esta ley que protegerá a aproximadamente 2,5 millones de residentes de Georgia de costosas facturas médicas inesperadas. Si desea obtener más información sobre cómo lo protege la nueva ley, consulte nuestra nueva hoja informativa a continuación.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SCOTUS says: The ACA remains the law of the land!

One week ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act for the third time! The opinion applied to a lawsuit filed by Texas, Georgia, and 16 other states that aimed to strike down the entire law.

GHF celebrated the ruling and urged Georgia leaders to turn their attentions to making health care more affordable and closing Georgia’s coverage gap with Medicaid expansion:

“While we lament Gov. Kemp’s & Attorney General Carr’s support of and participation in this effort to overturn a law that benefits so many Georgians, we need to look forward. We hope that today’s decision will embolden Georgia lawmakers to build upon the success of the ACA and make improvements at the state level, such as fully expanding Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of hard-working Georgians who currently have no pathway to coverage. Deep inequalities and structural racism continue to exist in our health care system and the state must act now to ensure all Georgians have access to quality, affordable health coverage.”

Read our full statement here.

GHF IN THE NEWS

Federal agencies want more information on Georgia’s plan to cut ties with Healthcare.gov
WABE | June 4, 2021


Despite warning from feds, Georgia officials moving ahead with Medicaid launch
Clayton Daily News | June 7, 2021


Though facing federal axe, state’s Medicaid waiver plans move ahead
Georgia Health News & Rome News-Tribune | June 7, 2021


Supreme Court ends challenge by Georgia, other states to Obamacare
Georgia Recorder | June 17, 2021

MORE >

Peach Pulse | COVID-19 vaccines, telehealth, & health care for low-wage Georgia workers, plus more!

Despite incredible challenges, the GHF team achieved tremendous success in 2020 and we’re excited to share these accomplishments with you! In our 2020 annual report, we tell the stories of three key initiatives, why your support mattered, and how our work moved Georgia towards a healthier, more equitable future!

We hope you will read and share GHF’s efforts to amplify the voices of Georgians on urgent health issues. We invite you to celebrate our 2020 accomplishments and supporting our continued efforts with a recurring or one-time donation. Thank you!

MEDICAID & DISABILITY: ONE FAMILY’S JOURNEY
Navigating health care and coverage in Georgia

Medicaid provides health insurance to many different Georgians. including those living with disabilities. Our latest blog features a first-hand account from a Georgia mother whose 9-year-old daughter, Amelia, is covered by Medicaid. Her daughter was diagnosed with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy at 18 months. Since her diagnosis, the two have navigated challenging care and coverage issues. Their experiences highlight a number of the policy and advocacy issues that GHF works hard to address: Medicaid, difficulty finding health care providers, the role of public health in Georgia, and support for caregivers.

Learn more about Amelia and her family’s experience navigating Medicaid in Georgia.

 

 

 

 

NEW RELEASES ON COVID-19 VACCINES, TELEHEALTH,
& MEDICAID EXPANSION
I got my shot!

If you’re looking to be on trend, healthy, and smart this summer then it’s time to talk about COVID-19 vaccines! In our latest blog, GHF’s Communications & Special Projects Manager, Michelle Conde shares her experience and why she recommends others get vaccinated too.

Visit our blog to read more about Michelle’s vaccination experience!

¡Visite nuestro blog para leer más sobre la experiencia de vacunación de Michelle!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


New! Analysis from GHF on telehealth & broadband

Through our Georgians in the Driver’s Seat initiative, GHF and The Arc Georgia found that transportation and internet access are two closely related social determinants of health. When one or both are available, access to health care can be easy and when they are missing, Georgians struggle to access health services.

Our newest report, Telemedicine and broadband internet access: A tool, not a cure to transportation-related barriers to care reflects on the expansion of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, its role in reducing transportation-related barriers to health care, and policies needed to physically and digitally connect consumers to care.

Read and share the new report to learn more about the intersection of health transportation and internet access.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Medicaid expansion: For Georgia’s essential & rural workers

A new report from Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families (CCF) adds more fuel to the push for Medicaid expansion in Georgia! CCF found that cashiers, cooks, maids and housekeeping staff, waiters/waitresses, and freight and stock laborers are among the most common jobs held by low-wage, uninsured Georgia workers. The report also features an interactive map showing that the rate of uninsured workers in each Georgia county and that rural counties would benefit from most from Medicaid expansion. Check it out at CoverGa.org and share!

Cover Georgia has added another great resource to its blog: an easy-to-understand explanation of the new financial deal available to our state for Medicaid expansion. In addition to the 601 studies proving that Medicaid expansion is a good choice for Georgia, our state can now earn $1.3 Billion by covering low-income workers, parents, veterans, and other adults. That amount would cover the costs of Medicaid expansion for 2 years and leave our state with significant savings to put towards other priorities. Take action by learning and sharing why Medicaid expansion is a deal too good to pass up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GHF IN THE NEWS
Georgetown Study Suggests Georgia Should Take Medicaid Expansion Deal
GPB | April 30, 2021


Report: Low-income workers would benefit most from Medicaid expansion in Georgia
Gwinnett Daily Post | April 29, 2021

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Celebrate Medicaid! James in Lamar Co., and more!

MEDICAID IS WORTH CELEBRATING
Celebrate Medicaid Awareness Month by taking action!

Medicaid has been an integral part of Georgia’s health care system for 54 years. Over the last 16 months, Medicaid has stepped up to serve as a first responder during the COVID-19 pandemic. This incredible public health insurance program has helped our state weather the crisis, but it could do even more!

 

Our state leaders have a new opportunity to promote the health of Georgians across the state through Medicaid expansion. Under the recently passed American Rescue Plan, Georgia is eligible to receive a $1.3-$2 Billion bonus for finally expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income adults. This is a deal too good to pass up!

 

Don’t miss your chance to celebrate April as Medicaid Awareness Month and urge Georgia policy makers to expand on Medicaid’s successful legacy by taking action with us today!

  1. Write a letter to the editor (LTE)
    Your letter will spread the word in your community and to your state leaders (that’s right, they read these letters!) about Medicaid and the too-good-to-pass-up deal available to expand it. We have made it easy for you with these two tools:

  2. 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:
  3. Spread the word on social media! Share one of our Facebook or Twitter posts and let others know that it’s time to take action on Medicaid expansion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHO IS IMPACTED BY GEORGIA’S
HEALTH CARE TRANSPORTATION CRISIS
James and the need for change in Lamar County

Transportation is a fundamental building block for adequate access to health care. Each year millions of Americans miss or delay health care because they do not have a way to get there. Through the Georgians in the Driver’s Seat initiative, GHF has talked with folks around the state about their transportation needs and how it impacts their health.

 

Lamar County resident James has observed firsthand some of the gaps in Georgia’s Medicaid transportation system. Because of it’s inefficiencies, James’ elderly mother has to find other ways to get to and from her local senior center, which she attends to stay mentally and physically healthy.

 

“Transportation is an area that needs to be focused on, particularly in rural communities and, at least particularly for the special needs population and folks who may not have resources and have some socio-economic challenges” said James about the transportation issues and potential solutions in his county and throughout Georgia.

 

Learn more about James and his experiences in Lamar County in our latest blog.

 

 

 

 

HAPPENINGS AT GHF
Changes in health care and policy in the 2021 legislative session

Following the close of Georgia’s 2021 legislative session, Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute hosted a wrap-up conversation to highlight the session’s most important health-related outcomes. Special guest Representative Matthew Wilson 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


An essential conversation on COVID, Medicaid, & Disability with GHF and Rev Up Georgia!

This dynamic session provided participants with a better understanding of COVID-19’s impact and the role of Medicaid on Georgia’s disability community. Led and facilitated by Georgians with disabilities, the discussion centered their perspectives on health advocacy, today’s most important health policy issues, how they are stepping up to be leaders in their communities, and how you can too! If you missed it, visit GHF’s Facebook page to watch it on demand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW AT GHF!
GHF welcomes Amir Jones to Board of Directors

GHF recently welcomed Amir Jones to the Board of Directors! From his years as an advocate for health care access, Amir brings a breadth of experience and expertise that will inform and guide GHF’s work over his term of service. Join us in welcoming Amir to the board! Learn more about GHF’s Board of Directors and Staff on our website.

 

 

 

 

 

GHF IN THE NEWS
Georgians Taking Advantage Of Special Enrollment On Exchange
GPB | April 14, 2021


Georgians jumping on insurance exchange
Albany Herald | April 14, 2021


State report: Georgia will focus on health disparities
Albany Herald | April 19, 2021

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Legislative session ends tonight, new GHF team members, & news on ACA enrollment!

LEGISLATIVE SESSION COMING TO AN END
Georgia’s 2021 legislative session ends tonight!

Georgia’s 2021 legislative session is set to wrap up tonight! Today is the final day of session, also called “Sine Die”. You can find a full list of health related legislation, including whether or not a bill is still awaiting a final vote, at GHF’s legislative tracker here. You can also follow the live House & Senate debates and votes here at legis.ga.gov.

 

GHF will send our next legislative update this Friday with a run-down of which health bills made it over the finish line before the General Assembly gaveled out. You can find a full list of health related legislation at GHF’s legislative tracker.

 

 

 

 

 

A DEAL TOO GOOD TO PASS UP
Tell state leaders to take the best deal for all Georgians

Our state leaders have a new opportunity to promote the health of Georgians across the state! Under the recently passed American Rescue Plan, Georgia is eligible to receive a $1.3 Billion incentive for expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income adults. The new funding covers the costs of Medicaid expansion and leaves $710 million available to spend on other state priorities.

Your friends and family, and our state leaders need to know about this exciting deal so our state can take advantage of it! Last week Cover Georgia placed these full-page ads in newspapers across the state to let our elected leaders know that Medicaid expansion is a deal too good to pass up.

 

Over 500,000 Georgians remain uninsured, rural hospitals continue to close, and our health care system struggles to keep up because Georgia leaders have refused to expand Medicaid. It’s time to close Georgia’s coverage gap, extend health coverage to half a million Georgians, and accelerate Georgia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Share the Cover Georgia ad and the new CoverGA.org/GoodDeal page with your elected officials. Let them know that Medicaid expansion is the best deal for Georgia!

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPENING NOW! COVID-19 VACCINES & HEALTH INSURANCE
All Georgians 16+ now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine!

Last week all Georgia residents 16 years and older became eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. COVID-19 vaccines protect you from getting seriously ill and keep your loved ones safe from catching the virus. Here are a few resources to help you schedule your vaccine appointment:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Starting tomorrow: Thousands of Georgians newly eligible for discounted health insurance at healthcare.gov

Most Georgians who qualify for health insurance and financial help through the Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) are still uninsured. Help us spread the word!

Healthcare.gov is open now and starting tomorrow, April 1st, Georgians qualify for new discounts on their coverage thanks to the American Rescue Plan (ARP). Georgians can shop for and enroll in affordable, quality health plans now through August 15, 2021.

With the ARP’s added financial help, 127,000 uninsured, middle-income Georgians are eligible for discounts that lower their health insurance costs. Another 134,900 uninsured Georgians with low or modest incomes qualify for lower or zero-dollar ($0) premiums who enroll in plans through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace.

Find out what discounts you or your loved ones may be eligible for with this easy calculator from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Then shop and enroll at healthcare.gov or 1-800-318-2596!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW AT GHF!
GHF welcomes new Health Policy Analyst and Organizing Manager

This month, GHF welcomed Whitney Griggs as our new Health Policy Analyst and Knetta Adkins as our new Organizing Manager.

 

Whitney will lead GHF’s research, data, and policy analysis work so that GHF remains evidence-based and data-driven. Knetta will build and grow GHF’s outreach and organizing efforts, keeping GHF in touch with the most important health care stakeholders—Georgia’s health care consumers.

 

We are so pleased to have Whitney and Knetta join the GHF staff! Visit our website to learn more about Whitney, Knetta, and the rest of GHF’s team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


GHF joins partners to address medical billing & collections practices at Southwest Georgia hospitals

In partnership with Georgia Watch and SOWEGA Rising, GHF is pleased to announce our participation in the Community Benefit and Economic Stability Project (new link). The focus of this initiative is to work with community groups and local health care providers to address local needs around medical billing and debt in southwest Georgia. This project is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Georgia team will receive technical assistance from Community Catalyst.

 

Check out the new initiative page from Community Catalyst to learn more about this project and look for updates from GHF and our partners as we begin this exciting work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GHF IN THE NEWS
Georgians rush to sign up for ACA insurance during special enrollment period
Henry Herald | March 8, 2021


Foundation grant aimed at medical billing, debt in southwest Georgia
Henry Herald | March 10, 2021


Clearer path for Georgia children to receive Medicaid passes General Assembly
Albany Herald | March 10, 2021


Will New Incentives For Medicaid Expansion Sway Georgia Leaders?
GPB | March 15, 2021


The Jolt: COVID relief will be at center of the storm in Georgia politics
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | March 15, 2021


Federal stimulus bill brings insurance price breaks for many Georgians
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | March 16, 2021


COVID Relief Plan could help cut ACA insurance costs
Albany Herald | March 17, 2021


Medicaid Expansion Bid Gains as Holdout States Eye New Perk
Bloomberg Government | March 19, 2021


Ga. GOP bets on limited Medicaid expansion despite fed’s push for more
Georgia Recorder | March 29, 2021

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Advocacy in SwGA, new health transportation data, Gov.’s Medicaid plan hits a roadblock, & more!

NEW REPORT FROM GEORGIANS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT
Three out of four Georgia counties found to be health transportation shortage areas

Through our Georgians in the Driver’s Seat initiative, GHF and The Arc Georgia examined how transportation impacts access to health care in Georgia. In the first of two reports, GHF looks at data about each Georgia county to examine where Georgians may face the highest hurdles getting to and from health services because of transportation shortages. Our analysis suggests Georgians in most counties face some transportation-related barriers. GHF paired the analysis with input from consumers and health care providers to offer recommendations for policy solutions.

 

Check out your county’s results and learn how Georgia advocates, policy makers, and community members can work together to eliminate transportation as a barrier to health and health care!

Stay tuned for our follow-up report on the intersection of internet access, transportation, and health care!

 

 

 

 

 

GOVERNOR’S HEALTH CARE PLAN HITS ROADBLOCK
Federal government rolls back approval of Gov. Kemp’s partial Medicaid expansion plan

Georgia’s state leaders continue to reject Medicaid expansion for a plan that would cover far fewer Georgians, impose burdensome work requirements, and leave millions in Georgia’s tax dollars on the table. But recently federal officials hit the brakes on the Governor’s plan, saying the proposed work requirements violate federal law and a recent Executive Order from President Biden. Georgia still has an option to cover more people through Medicaid expansion!

Federal officials will now revisit the thousands of comments Georgians submitted about the Governor’s plan since November 2019. Nine out of ten commenters opposed the Governor’s plan and supported Medicaid expansion instead! These comments will influence how federal officials negotiate with state leaders about the Governor’s plan.

What’s next for the Governor’s plan is a bit unclear, but Georgia still has the option to expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of Georgians! Even better, Congress’s upcoming COVID-19 relief package would increase Medicaid funding to more than cover the cost of full expansion for the first two years. Our state must take advantage of this one-time deal to expand Medicaid! Ask your state leaders to act now and expand Medicaid!

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPENING NOW!
Special enrollment period runs through May 15th!

Healthcare.gov is open for a special enrollment period from February 15 to May 15, 2021. Georgians have another chance to shop for quality, affordable health plans and enroll in coverage. Nine out of ten Georgians qualify for financial help to lower their premiums and other costs! Most Georgians who qualify for health insurance & financial help through the Affordable Care Act (also called “Obamacare”) are still uninsured. So help us spread the word!

If you need help figuring out if you qualify, how much financial help you can get, or have other questions, contact our partners at the Georgia Primary Care Association. Their help is free and unbiased:

  • Online help is here. Scroll to the bottom of the page to fill out the form for help
  • By phone: 1-844-442-7421

If you or your loved ones need more information about how health insurance works, what to do after you have signed up, and more, GHF has you covered! Check out GHF’s Get Help with Health Insurancelibrary so you and yours get covered and stay covered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2021 legislative session crosses half-way point

The Georgia legislative session is more than half-way over, but there is still plenty of opportunity for consumer-driven health policies to be approved by legislators! You can view a full list of the health legislation that we are tracking here. Here are a few of the bills we are currently monitoring and supporting:

  • SB 80, the Ensuring Transparency in Prior Authorization Act, is sponsored by Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick and aims to increase access to care by putting common sense guardrails around prior authorization. (Learn more about prior authorization in our February 8th legislative update.) The Senate Insurance Committee approved SB 80 this week.
  • HB 163, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Cooper, directs Georgia’s Medicaid program to adopt “express lane” eligibility for kids who qualify for Medicaid coverage. The change would make it easier for uninsured Georgia kids who already qualify for Medicaid to enroll and stay covered. The House passed HB 163 earlier this month and the Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved it this week.
  • SB 172, sponsored by Sen. Gloria Butler, would allow Georgia to fully expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Georgia is one of only 12 states that continues to reject federal money to cover low-income adults. Medicaid expansion would cover more than 500,000 Georgians. SB 172 has not yet been considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW AT GHF!
GHF joins Voices for Health Justice project to build health advocacy capacity in Southwest Georgia

Voices for Health Justice is a new initiative led by Community Catalyst, Community Change, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The focus of this initiative is to develop and strengthen engagement in health advocacy through grassroots organizing, racial justice, and anti-racism.

 

In the Georgia Voices for Health Justice project, GHF and our project partners at Georgia Equality and the New Georgia Project will work with Black and brown community members in Southwest Georgia.  Using a leadership development model, community members will learn health advocacy and organizing skills so they are prepared to lead effective community-driven advocacy that improves health outcomes and builds racial equity.

 

Check out this press release from Community Catalyst to learn more about this project and look for updates from GHF and our partners as we begin this exciting work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


GHF’s donor self-service portal puts you in charge

When you give to GHF, you guarantee that our organization can effectively organize and amplify the voices of Georgia health care consumers now and in the future!
Donors to GHF can now use our new donor self-service portal (just below our existing donation form) to manage your donations, and update your payment and contact information. Your supporter account makes it easier for you to ensure your gifts are having the biggest impact at GHF. Thank you for your support and for helping GHF make a difference!
Not yet a donor to GHF? You can give a one-time or monthly donation here!

SIGN UP SO YOU CAN GET IN LINE FOR YOUR VACCINES
Georgia Governor and Department of Public Health debut new website to register for COVID-19 vaccination 

Last week, Governor Kemp and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) announced a new website where Georgians can pre-register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible Georgians can book appointments through MyVaccineGeorgia.com and those who are not yet eligible can sign up to be notified when they become eligible.

Current vaccine priority list:

  • Front-line health care workers
  • Residents of long-term care facilities (like nursing homes)
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • First responders, including law enforcement and firefighters

 

 

 

 

 

GHF IN THE NEWS
Parity Law Aims To Equalize Mental Health And Addiction Coverage With Physical Care
GPB | February 11, 2021


Georgia lawmakers move to get more children insured
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | February 12, 2021


Biden administration threatens Medicaid work requirements in state
Albany Herald | February 13, 2021


Kemp’s health care overhaul in Georgia thrown into limbo
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | February 15, 2021


Biden administration puts Georgia Medicaid overhaul on hold
CBS 46 | February 16, 2021


‘Express lane’ children’s Medicaid bill clears Georgia State House
Gwinnett Daily Post | February 16, 2021


Special enrollment period now open for ACA, could benefit thousands of Georgians without health care
WSB-TV | February 17, 2021


Georgia leader’s Medicaid plan halted by agency
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette | February 17, 2021


Ossoff pitches COVID relief plan as Georgia ramps up vaccine output
Georgia Recorder | February 19, 2021

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Legislative session begins, COVID-19 vaccines, & a chance to join the GHF team!

HEALTH CARE UNSCRAMBLED AVAILABLE ON-DEMAND!

Thank you for (virtually) joining us!

Thanks to you, GHF’s 11th annual Health Care Unscrambled was a huge success! We were thrilled to have so many advocates, policy makers, health care providers, and public health professionals join us for this year’s virtual event!

HCU 2021 sessions available on-demand!

Not a morning person? Had another meeting during one of this year’s Health Care Unscrambled sessions? No worries! Recordings of each session are available in our digital program now. Our digital program also features photos, slides, and materials from each session for your convenience.

Don’t forget! GHF has you covered for the 2021 Georgia legislative session. Review GHF’s 2021-2022 policy priorities, track health-related legislation, and contact your elected officials on our website and in your inbox each week.
TAKE ACTION FOR YOUR COMMUNITY!

Ask your local public health officials to prioritize equity when giving out the COVID-19 vaccine

Communities of color, low-income families & individuals, immigrant communities, and rural areas in Georgia have been hardest hit by COVID-19. In order for Georgia to successfully and effectively recover from COVID-19, our state needs a vaccine distribution plan that prioritizes equity and puts the communities hit hardest at the front of the line.

 

Your local public health (PH) officials are making a lot of specific decisions about how vaccines are distributed in your community. You have the chance to influence those decisions now! Ask your local PH district leaders to present their plans to the community, including how racial equity is built into the plan, and get public input. Contact your public health officials today!


Ask your legislator to commit to Medicaid expansion!

Over 560,000 Georgians are still waiting for Georgia leaders to make the right choice and expand Medicaid. State leaders can expand Medicaid at any time and we are asking them to publicly commit to doing just that in 2021! By expanding the Medicaid health insurance program, thousands more Georgians would gain health coverage and access to care if they become sick without the worry of unaffordable medical bills afterward. Georgia is one of only 12 states that have not yet done the right thing by expanding Medicaid. Our legislators can make 2021 a brighter, healthier year for all Georgians! Ask state leaders to make a New Year’s resolution for Medicaid expansion today.

THE GHF TEAM IS GROWING!

GHF welcomes three new board members

Chastity Walker, Jenny Besse, and Abbie Fuksman have all joined the GHF Board of Directors! These three board members bring a breadth of experience and knowledge that will help to inform and guide GHF’s work over their terms of service. Join us in welcoming our new board members and learn more about GHF’s Board of Directors and Staff on our website.


GHF is hiring a full-time Organizing Manager!

You can join the GHF team by applying to be our new Organizing Manager! The Organizing Manager will be responsible for directing collaborative coalition strategies and leading outreach, education, & organizing initiatives directly with Georgia consumers. The Organizing Manager will work closely with the rest of the GHF team to advance policies that foster a healthy, equitable Georgia. Please visit GHF’s Employment Opportunities page for more information about this position and how to apply.

GHF IN THE NEWS

Annual Legislative Suppers, Breakfasts Go Digital As The Legislative Session Gets Underway
GPB | January 11, 2021


Advocates hope lawmakers step-up to fill mental health need amplified by pandemic
Union Recorder | January 13, 2021


Providers Sue Trump Administration Over Approval Of Georgia Plans To Nix Healthcare.gov
WABE | January 15, 2021


Georgia’s slow COVID vaccine rollout exposes broad public health shortfall
Georgia Recorder | January 20, 2021

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Happy Holidays, HCU21 panel, join the GHF team & much more!

We wish you a happy, healthy holiday season! We hope you are planning to stay home, spend time with the loved ones in your own household, and wear a mask this season. We look forward to seeing you in a brighter, healthier 2021!

Ask your local public health officials to prioritize equity for the COVID-19 vaccine

Communities of color, low-income families & individuals, immigrant communities, and rural areas in Georgia have been hardest hit by COVID-19. However, news of effective vaccines and the early roll-outs  give us hope that this pandemic will end next year. In order for Georgia to successfully and effectively recover from COVID-19, our state needs a vaccine distribution plan that prioritizes equity and puts the communities hit hardest at the front of the line.

Your local public health officials are  making a lot of specific decisions about how vaccines will be distributed in the coming months. You have the chance to influence those decisions now! Ask your local PH district and county PH department to hold virtual public meetings to present their plans, including how racial equity is integrated into the plan, and get public input. Contact your public health officials today!

_________________________________________________________________

Be an advocate for you, your loved ones, and your community as we navigate the effects of COVID-19. Explore and share these links so you know how to access health care when you need to, what to expect from your health insurance during COVID-19, and how to find resources so your other basic needs are taken care of.


Why Georgia’s U.S. Senate run-off matters for you

Voters’ decisions about Georgia’s U.S. Senate candidates will have a tangible and long-term impact on our state’s recovery from COVID-19, health costs and insurance, and other important consumer health issues in Georgia. Before voting in the run-off period (Dec. 14 to Jan. 5), Georgians have the opportunity to learn more how Georgia’s U.S. Senators impact our health and well-being in GHF’s latest blog: A consumer health advocates guide to the 2020 elections: U.S. Senate. Read, share, and make a plan to vote before January 5th!

RINGING IN 2021 WITH SURPRISE BILLING PROTECTIONS
& HEALTH CARE UNSCRAMBLED!
Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act becomes effective January 1, 2021

This year Georgians for a Healthy Future and our partners at Georgia Watch led the effort to pass Georgia’s new comprehensive surprise billing law. Georgia is now the 16th state to have adopted comprehensive protections against surprise medical bills. The new law will allow 2.5 million Georgians to access health services without the worry of being hit by expensive and unfair medical bills after the fact. The Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act becomes effective January 1, 2021.

Celebrate this HUGE success with us by re-sharing this FaceBook post or tweet or with a donation! Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Kick off the new year in health advocacy at Health Care Unscrambled 2021!
Please join Georgians for a Healthy Future for our 11th annual Health Care Unscrambled, with a virtual twist!

 

Join us online January 7, 8, and 14 for this special opportunity to discuss how the 2020 elections will shape 2021’s health policy and advocacy landscape; lessons learned about the social determinants of health during the COVID-19 pandemic; and how the imperative of racial equity shapes the work of health advocates.

 

In recognition of these tough economic times, we are offering this year’s program at no cost to individual attendees. For those who can afford it, we hope you will consider donating $10 for each session you plan to attend or register as a sponsor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOIN THE GHF TEAM 
GHF is hiring a Health Policy Analyst!

GHF is hiring for a full-time Health Policy Analyst! The Health Policy Analyst will support GHF’s public policy and advocacy work across a spectrum of health policy issues, including Medicaid, private market health insurance reforms (including the Affordable Care Act), delivery system reform, health equity, and public health.

Please visit GHF’s Employment Opportunities page for more information about this position and how to apply.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPENINGS AT GHF
An essential conversation about your health care with GHF and 9to5

Last week GHF’s Alyssa Green and 9to5’s Mica Whitfield held a FaceBook Live conversation, Governor Kemp’s health care plans approved: What do they mean for you? They talked about Governor Kemp’s recently approved health care plans which will change Georgians’ access to Medicaid and private insurance. Alyssa and Mica helped viewers understand when these plans will take effect, who will be impacted, and what you can do to help Georgians get and stay covered. If you missed the conversation you can catch up on 9to5’s Facebook page or check out our blog on the topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

GHF recognized as 2020 Speak Up for Better Health Award Honoree 

This year Community Catalyst’s Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation recognized organizations who have maintained their work creating a consumer-centered health system in the face of COVID19. Georgians for a Healthy Future and The Arc Georgia were recognized for our Georgians in the Driver’s Seat project which aims to eliminate transportation and internet access as barriers to health care for Georgians. We are humbled and proud to receive this recognition with our partners at The Arc Georgia and alongside the other deserving honorees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THANK YOU FOR HELPING US MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Thank you for support!

Thank you for choosing GHF on Giving Tuesday! Your generous donations warm our hearts, and help us mobilize health advocates across the state in support of policies & laws that promote Georgia’s health and wellness. Advocacy is year-round work. Your support is essential for GHF to remain a strong, responsive voice for Georgians and their famliies. Thank you!

 

If you didn’t get a chance to donate and can afford to, it’s not too late! Consider becoming a monthly donor and let GHF know we can count on you for the long haul!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Choose GHF on Amazon Smile

This holiday season you can support GHF while you shop online. Amazon Smile will donate a small percent of your eligible purchases to Georgians for a Healthy Future at no extra cost to you. All you have to do is sign up and shop at smile.amazon.com. It’s an easy way to support GHF through the holidays and all year! To learn more and sign up, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GHF IN THE NEWS
Georgia reports much less Medicaid data to the feds than it used to
Georgia Health News | November 15, 2020


Georgia Reports Much Less Medicaid Data To The Feds Than It Used To
GPB | November 16, 2020


State wants health insurers to stop clogging hospital space
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | December 17, 2020

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Get Georgia covered for 2021, certified peer specialists, & HCU21 panel

GET COVERED FOR 2021
Enroll in health coverage before December 15th!

Healthcare.gov is open for business until December 15, 2020. Georgians can shop now for comprehensive, affordable health plans and enroll in coverage. Nine out of 10 Georgians qualify for financial help to lower their premiums and other costs! Don’t miss your chance to get enrolled for 2021 today!

Already enrolled? Ask your friends and family if they have coverage and encourage them to get enrolled before the Dec. 15th deadline.

Have questions? Learn about how health insurance works, how to enroll in coverage, or what to do after you have signed up with these tools from GHF:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

New report! Getting Georgia Covered 2020

GHF examined the data about Georgia’s 2020 marketplace for our annual Getting Georgia Covered report. We found rising enrollment, lower premiums, and increased choices for consumers. This annual release tells the story of how Georgia individuals and families are faring in the health insurance marketplace. Explore this year’s interactive, digital report for more about Georgia’s 2020 marketplace, how it differed from previous years, who enrolled, the costs of coverage, and policy opportunities to enhance the marketplace and better serve Georgia consumers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POLITICS, POSSIBILITIES, & POLICY AT HCU2021
Announcing the Politics, Possibilities, & Policy panel
Supported by Hemophilia of Georgia

GHF is excited to announce our first Health Care Unscrambled 2021 virtual session! Join us on January 7th at 8:30 am for th two-part Politics, Possibilities, & Policy session!

This session will begin with a discussion about the results of the 2020 elections and their impact on the national and Georgia health policy landscapes. A second panel, made up of two leading state legislators, will discuss the outlook for the state budget & health-related legislation during the 2021 Georgia legislative session. Join these great guests on January 7th:

  • Citseko Staples, Director, State and Local Campaigns, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • Emily Barson, Executive Director, United States of Care
  • Moderated by Elise Blasingame, a Georgia Trend’s 2020 40 under 40 leader
  • House Health & Human Services Chair Sharon Cooper, HD 43 (Marietta)
  • Representative Jasmine Clark, HD 108 (Lilburn)
  • Moderated by Laura Colbert, Executive Director, Georgians for a Healthy Future

RSVP today to attend Politics, Possibilities, & Policy on Thursday, January 7 at 8:30 am!


Sponsorship opportunities are available

 

 

 

 

 

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Health Care Repeal Lawsuit heard by U.S. Supreme Court

Earlier this month Georgia and 17 other states asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the Affordable Care Act. The Health Care Repeal Lawsuit (also known as California v. Texas) jeopardizes the health of millions of Americans, including hundreds of thousands of Georgians. The ACA remains in effect while this lawsuit is pending, and a decision from the Court is expected in the spring of 2021.

Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr have supported the case since its start in February 2018. They have the ability to withdraw their support at any time.

Stand with us and urge Georgia leaders to protect the health and well-being of individuals and families by withdrawing their support for this lawsuit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Get to know Georgia’s Certified Peer Specialists!

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has had an impact on financial stressors, the difficulties of parenting, and almost universal uncertainty and have dramatically increased depression, anxiety, stress, and substance use among Georgians. Some will seek supports and services to manage their health, which may be provided in part by certified peer specialists. Our newest blog, Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies: Get to know Georgia’s Certified Peer Specialists describes the unique position and qualifications that certified peer specialists provide in Georgia.

Certified peer specialists (CPS) provide support and education to individuals and families while they navigate mental health and/or substance use recovery supports and services. CPS have played a vital role in Georgia’s mental health and substance use recovery systems for over 20 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Can we count on you? Giving Tuesday is December 1st!

GHF is asking for your support on Giving Tuesday! Giving Tuesday will take place in one week, on Tuesday, December 1. If you can afford to donate, we hope that GHF is among the non-profits that you support!

Your support of GHF:

  • 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 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 now or on Giving Tuesday! To ensure that Georgians for a Healthy Future can remain a strong, responsive voice for all Georgians now and in the future, consider becoming a monthly donor. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Choose GHF on Amazon Smile

This holiday season you can support GHF while you shop online. Amazon Smile will donate a small percent of your eligible purchases to Georgians for a Healthy Future. All you have to do is sign up and shop at smile.amazon.com. It’s an easy way to support GHF through the holidays and all year! To learn more and sign up, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GHF IN THE NEWS
Opinion: Medicaid waiver plan inadequate to Ga.’s needs
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | November 3, 2020


Federal approval of Kemp ACA waiver contains last-minute surprises
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | November 3, 2020


Ossoff says health care is on ballot as Supreme Court weighs Obamacare
Georgia Recorder | November 11, 2020

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Know before you go!, time to #GetCovered, & Georgians deserve better

Mark your calendars

Please join Georgians for a Healthy Future for our 11th annual Health Care Unscrambled, with a virtual twist!

Our annual Health Care Unscrambled event is a special, annual opportunity for health advocates and stakeholders to hear from state policymakers about what they plan to tackle in the year ahead, to learn about emerging health policy issues from nationally-renowned experts, and to better understand the health experiences of Georgia consumers. Because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, GHF’s 2021 Health Care Unscrambled will take place virtually with sessions on January 7, 8, and 14th.

In recognition of these tough economic times, we are offering this year’s program at no cost to individual attendees. For those who can afford it, we hope you will consider donating $10 for each session you plan to attend or a sponsorship.

Sponsorhip opportunities are available!


Open enrollment begins November 1st!

Healthcare.gov opens for business this Sunday, November 1st! Consumers can browse available plans now and enroll in affordable, comprehensive coverage from November 1 to December 15, 2020. Nine out of 10 Georgians qualify for financial help to afford their plan. If you are one of the many Georgians who have lost a job or health coverage this year, now is the time to shop and get covered!

Follow GHF on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to learn and share messages about the opportunity to gain health insurance, the availability of financial assistance, and how to find enrollment help.


Georgians deserve better!

Cover Georgia logoTell state leaders the Governor’s plan falls short and Georgians need Medicaid expansion 

State and federal leaders announced this month the approval of Governor Kemp’s proposal to bypass Medicaid expansion and the likely approval of his proposal to reshape Georgia’s private insurance market. When given the opportunity to weigh in on these plans, Georgians overwhelmingly said that they prefer a full Medicaid expansion and do not want to separate from the ACA marketplace.

Georgia’s approved Medicaid plan will expand coverage to only a fraction of low-income, uninsured Georgians. Despite steep job losses due to the pandemic, Georgia adults could only apply for and enroll in Medicaid coverage if they can prove they work (or do other government-approved activities) at least half-time.

Georgians deserve better! All Georgians should have affordable, quality health coverage, especially during a pandemic. But state leaders continue to ignore calls for such policies. Visit CoverGA.org and tell your state leaders that it’s time to do more for the health of Georgia.


Know before you go!

A consumer health advocates guide to the 2020 elections

As this year’s election season peaks, 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:

The last day to cast your vote is this Tuesday, November 3, 2020! Don’t miss your chance to be a #HealthCareVoter!

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


GHF supports community health workers

GHF joins Community Voices for Health to support Georgia’s community health workers

Community Voices for Health – Georgia is a new initiative led by Georgia Watch, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgians for a Healthy Future, and Georgia ACT with support from the Rober Wood Johnson Foundation. The focus of this initiative is to develop and strengthen engagement in health advocacy among Georgia’s community health workers (CHWs.) CHWs’ relationships with community members allow them to serve as liaisons between health care, social services, and communities in need. While advocacy and engagement are essential to this role, many CHWs lack the training or support to be as effective as possible. GHF and our project partners are working to address this gap by building the capacity of Georgia’s community health workers to engage in effective community organizing and civic advocacy through training, technical assistance, and peer learning. Check out this blog from Public Agenda for more about this exciting work.


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! We are especially interested in applicants with legal, financial/accounting, and human resources expertise. 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

Ambetter policyholders to get $58 million in ACA rebates
Albany Herald | October 12, 2020


Feds approve Georgia health insurance changes sought by Kemp
Washington Post | October 15, 2020


Georgia Gets Approval For Medicaid Work-Requirement Plan
WABE | October 15, 2020


Feds approve Georgia health insurance changes sought by Kemp
ABC News | October 15, 2020


Breaking Down Georgia’s Waiver Plans After Capitol Ceremony
GBP | October 15, 2020


Challenges loom after federal approval of Kemp health plan
Georgia Recorder | October 16, 2020


Kemp rolls out Medicaid plans
Valdosta Daily Times | October 19, 2020


GA Individual Market Reform Approved Over Industry Objections
HealthPayerIntelligence | October 19, 2020


Governor Kemp’s Georgia health insurance changes get the federal nod
Live Insurance News | October 21, 2020

MORE >

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

#SouthernSolidarity

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 healthcare.gov 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

MORE >

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 (healthcare.gov) 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 CoverGA.org 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

 

MORE >

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:

 

Welcome!

 

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 healthcare.gov

 

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 healthcare.gov 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

MORE >

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

MORE >

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

MORE >

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 2020census.gov (The Spanish language version is available at 2020census.gov/es.)—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

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Health care waivers around the corner and nominate your health care hero

Right around the corner
Changes in health care for Georgians coming soon

In March 2019, Georgia lawmakers approved SB 106, the Patients First Act. The law allows Georgia leaders to make potentially seismic changes to health coverage in the state. These changes could impact the way that you, your friends and family, and Georgians all across the state access and pay for health care. Georgia leaders are expected to announced their proposed changes in the next few weeks.

What to expect

Because Georgia leaders are using health care “waivers” to make their proposed changes, they must seek input from the public about their ideas. Here is what you need to know about the coming public comment periods:

  • The public comment periods are your chance to weigh in about how the changes will impact you, your loved ones, and your community!
  • There will be multiple public comment periods and they are all equally important! Make a plan to comment each time.
  • GHF and our Cover Georgia partners will let you know when the public comment periods begin and end and will provide an easy way for you to have your say.
  • In other states, public comments from people just like you have been the most powerful tool available to expand quality coverage to more people.

Make a plan to let state leaders know how their ideas will impact you and your family! Your comments can bring affordable, quality health coverage to all Georgians. Stay tuned!


Call for nominations
Less than 2 weeks left to nominate a health care hero

GHF will host its tenth annual Health Care Unscrambled legislative breakfast on January 14, 2020. This year’s event includes the presentation of the Linda S. Lowe Advocacy Award, which is given each year to an advocate whose work advances access to quality, affordable health care in Georgia.

We want you to tell us who should be recognized!

Nominees can be professional or volunteer advocates who work to achieve policy change for marginalized populations. This award is named in honor of Linda Smith Lowe. Linda dedicated her career to serving as an advocate on behalf of under-resourced Georgians who need a voice on health and human services issues.

Read about last year’s awardee and nominate your own health care hero!

Submit your award nominations by Monday, November 4, 2019.


Just in time for open enrollment

GHF releases annual Getting Georgia Covered report

Georgians for a Healthy Future is pleased to release its annual Getting Georgia Covered report. The annual publication tells the story of how Georgia individuals and families are faring in Georgia’s health insurance marketplace. It examines how last year’s open enrollment period differed from the previous five, presents enrollment and cost data and identifies policy opportunities to increase enrollment, ensure access to care, address affordability, and protect Georgia consumers.

Mark your calendars! Healthcare.gov opens for business on November 1st! Consumers can browse available plans now and enroll in coverage from November 1 to December 15, 2019. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn and share messages about open enrollment to help raise awareness about the opportunity to gain health insurance, the availability of financial assistance, and how to find enrollment help.


Rural roofer is stuck in coverage gap

Rural Georgians continue to struggle without coverage

Philip is a part-time roofer living in Fort Gaines, Georgia, a rural community in the southwest region of the state. While repairing a roof at work, Philip suffered a knee injury and a herniated disc in his back. Because he is uninsured and can’t pay much, Philip has been repeatedly refused the medical care that he needs to recover and get back to work.

Like Philip, 360,000 low-income Georgians, many of whom are uninsured, live in small towns and rural areas across the state. They have the most at stake in the debate over whether or not to close Georgia’s health insurance coverage gap. For these rural Georgia residents, health coverage would open doors to physicians and health services that they need to stay employed or get back to work. Read more of Philip’s story and see how your story can make an impact!


GHF in the news

Health costs rise for workers, firms
Valdosta Daily Times | September 29, 2019


Tough Choices: High uninsured rate takes toll on free clinics
Statesboro Herald | October 02, 2019

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Save the date, make your voice heard, and aging with dignity

Save the date

Please join Georgians for a Healthy Future for our tenth annual Health Care Unscrambled policy breakfast.

Each January we bring together legislators, advocates, and national thought leaders to discuss the health care issues facing Georgians. A morning dedicated to finding solutions that improve the health and well-being of all Georgians, Health Care Unscrambled is an event you don’t want to miss. RSVP today!

Sponsorship opportunities are available!


GHF wants to hear from you!
Georgians in the Driver’s Seat launches rider satisfaction survey

Non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) is a free service provided to Medicaid-covered Georgians who do not have their own means of transportation to get to health appointments, the pharmacy, and other health facilities. 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!

If you have used NEMT or know someone who has, we want to hear from you! Please answer a few questions in our NEMT rider survey. Your responses will help the Georgians in the Driver’s Seat team fight for much-needed improvements in Georgia’s NEMT system.

 


Make your voice heard through the Georgia Health Action Network

Join the Georgia Health Action Network (GHAN) for more updates, tools, and opportunities for advocacy with GHF!

GHAN is a volunteer consumer health advocacy program that aims to develop grassroots 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!


In case you missed it

Aging with dignity: Georgia seniors need Medicaid

Sherry is 77 years old and lives independently in Murray County in north Georgia. Sherry is one of over half a million seniors and people with disabilities in Georgia who depend on Medicaid and Medicare to live and age in their communities. Thanks to Medicaid, Sherry is able to afford the medications she needs to live a functional and healthy life. Medicaid and Medicare also make it possible to spend her weekdays at RossWoods Day Center where she does arts and crafts and takes part in social activities designed to keep her brain and body healthy. For 168,000 seniors like Sherry who typically live on low, fixed incomes Medicaid makes the difference and helps to pay the costs of their Medicare coverage. Read more of Sherry’s story and see how sharing your story can make an impact!


GHF in the news

Kemp backs new health plan for rural Georgians
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | September 03, 2019


Kemp Backs New Insurance Option Aimed At Rural Georgia
WABE | September 03, 2019


Anthem is in yet another contract dispute with a Georgia health system
The Georgia Sun | September 03, 2019


Anthem Faces Contract Standoff, Launches New Health Plan In Georgia
WABE | September 04, 2019


High uninsured rate takes toll on free clinics
The Union Recorder | September 27, 2019


Employer survey again shows higher costs for workers, firms
Gwinnett Daily Post | September 27, 2019

 

MORE >

Peach Pulse | New videos, GHF in Macon, and Project AWARE

 

GHF & COVER GEORGIA PRESENT NEW VIDEOS ON
THE PATIENTS FIRST ACT
 

Following the passage of the Patients First Act earlier this year, Cover Georgia (co-led by GHF) is proud to present new videos designed to help you follow and understand the changes this new law may bring to your health care and finances. These three new videos breakdown what you need to know about how this law could affect health coverage in Georgia, when the changes will be announced and rolled out, and how you can protect your health care from any unwanted changes. Watch and share!

 

Act now! Ask Governor Kemp to use the Patients First Act to expand coverage to as many Georgians as possible.

PROJECT AWARE AND THE IMPACT ON YOUTH MENTAL HEA


LTH

Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies: Get to know Project AWARE, Part II

One of the four goals of Georgia’s Project AWARE is to “train educators, first responders, parents and youth group leaders to respond to mental health needs of youth by providing free training in Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA).” YMHFA prepares participants to recognize and respond to the signs of adolescent mental health issues. Learn more about Project AWARE and Youth Mental Health First Aid in our latest blog!

 

 

 

 

 


GEORGIA VOICES FOR MEDICAID 
 

GHF co-hosts Health Care Salon with Georgia WomenGeorgians for a Healthy Future and Georgia Women (and Those Who Stand With Us)  co-hosted Health Care Salon: Georgia’s Patients First Act in Macon on Friday July 23rd. This community event brought together Macon residents to learn about Medicaid and Georgia’s new Patients First Act and develop health advocacy skills that can be used to build a healthier community. Read more about this exciting event on our blog. Be on the look-out for similar community events coming soon or contact Alyssa (agreen@healthyfuturega.org or 404-567-5016, ext. 2) to schedule one in your community.

 

 

 

 

 


REMEMBERING DAN AND DAWN
 

GHF mourns the loss of two close colleagues in recent weeks. Dan Williams, formerly of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta, and Dawn Alford, of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities utilized their respective platforms to pursue a healthy, equitable future for all Georgians. We will miss the curiosity and humility that Dan brought to his work and the passion and humanity that Dawn applied to hers. GHF sends our deepest condolences to their family and friends. We honor their memories with our continued efforts to build the healthy, equitable future they imagined.


GHF IN THE NEWS
Consultant’s application suggests goals for Georgia health care waivers
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | June 21, 2019


Obamacare Lawsuit Has Georgia Advocates Worried
WABE | July 10, 2019


Trump effort to tackle kidney disease could have big impact on Georgia
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | July 19, 2019


What Halting Of Utah’s Medicaid Waiver Plan Could Mean For Georgia
WABE | August 1, 2019


Georgia Has Among Highest Hospital Prices, New Review Suggests
WABE | August 8, 2019


Review: Georgia hospital prices among highest
Statesboro Herald | August 8, 2019

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Housing is Health, what’s next in waivers, & new behavioral health resources

Happening Now

What’s next with waivers

In March Georgia lawmakers approved the Patients First Act which allows state leaders to make changes to Georgia’s Medicaid and private insurance system using two kinds of health care waivers (an1115 Medicaid waiver and a 1332 waiver). The waivers are expected to be completed by the end of this year and could mean big changes for Georgians and the way they access and pay for health care. Learn more about the waiver timeline here.

These waivers could cover thousands of low-income Georgians but so far Georgia leaders have not committed to making sure that happens. Ask Governor Kemp to use the Patients First Act to expand coverage to as many Georgians as possible.

You will have the opportunity to influence and shape Georgia’s plans for health coverage! Public comment periods for both waivers may begin as early as October 2019. We will make it easy for you to understand the waivers and help you send comments to state and federal decision makers. Check out our new fact sheet for information about how you can influence Georgia’s plans.


Behavioral health at all ages

 

Two new resources help Georgia adults and youth behavioral health services 

Georgians for a Healthy Future is excited to release two new resources to help young people, adults who care for children, and others find needed mental health and substance use recovery services. Mental Health for Your Children and Young Adults helps adults recognize early indicators of behavioral health issues in kids and points the way to services and resources. Understanding Your Behavioral Health helps young adults and others recognize the signs of behavioral health issues in themselves or friends and family, and assists in finding the right health supports. Download and share today!


&


Georgia Voices for Medicaid

Webinar brings “Georgia Voices for Medicaid” to your computer

Last year, Georgians for a Healthy Future traveled across the state to host Georgia Voices for Medicaid, a series of community events that helped Georgians better understand Medicaid. Attendees also developed skills to be strong health care advocates. Now, we have published a webinar to bring that content to you! Watch and share this video to learn more about Medicaid and how you can advocate to strengthen it!

Thank you to the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities for their support to create this video series!


Housing is Health networking event

Bringing together housing providers & health advocates

Join GHF, the Georgia Supportive Housing Association, andCommunity Solutions on Tuesday, July 30th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM for the Housing is Health networking event. The informal event will take place at Community Solutions offices at Telephone Factory Lofts at 828 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA. RSVP now to join colleagues and friends for an evening of connecting across sectors!


GHF in the news

State studies health insurer complaints
Stateboro Herald | May 1, 2019


Georgia Finds Many Valid Complaints Against Health Insurers
WABE | May 2, 2019


I-TEAM INVESTIGATION: Patient’s First Act could greatly change Medicaid in Georgia
WRDW | May 23, 2019


Could Georgia Consider Work Requirements For Medicaid?
WABE | June 6, 2019


20k Ga. children lost health coverage in 2018 as uninsured rate grows nationwide
Gainesville Tims | June 9, 2019

MORE >

Peach Pulse | Children’s Mental Health Day & what’s next for waivers

RSVP NOW!

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day at the Capitol 2019
Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day at the Capitol is tomorrow, Thursday, May 9, 2019 from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot. In order to highlight and combat rising suicide rates among Georgia’s youth, this year’s theme is “Suicide Prevention: Strategies that Work.” Join the Georgia Parent Support Network, Voices for Georgia’s Children, GHF, and others to advocate for children’s access to lifesaving mental health services.

 

 


WHAT COMES NEXT?

State begins search for health care waiver consultants
Governor Kemp’s administration just announced the next steps they will take to implement SB 106, legislation that allows the state to make changes to Georgia’s Medicaid program and private insurance market through health care “waivers”. The state’s announcement outlining how it will hire consultants to draft the proposed waivers is only the beginning of a process that could result in big changes to Georgia’s health coverage and care systems. Your voice is key to ensuring that these waivers include provisions that support and protect Georgians across the state.

As the process moves forward, GHF will keep you updated about opportunities for advocacy so that you can help us fight for a Georgia where all residents have a pathway to meaningful, affordable health coverage. Read GHF’s blog, Governor signs Patients First Act: What’s next? to learn more about what to expect.


EMPOWERING YOU TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

GHF releases three new advocacy videos
GHF recently released three new videos designed to help you become an effective advocate. When your voice is heard, you have the power to bring about change. All you need are the right tools! GHF’s new videos cover essential advocacy skills including sharing your story, meeting your legislators, and using social media for advocacy. Watch and share these videos to help make an impact on the issues you care about most!

Thank you to the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities for their support to create this video series!


A recap of the 2019 Georgia legislative session
Last week, Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute hosted a webinar to wrap-up the 2019 legislative session. If you missed out on this informative event you can catch up now. Our “Changes in Health Care and Policy in the 2019 Legislative Session” is now available on GHF’s YouTube channel! In this video, we highlight the most important health-related developments in this year’s legislative session, examine the state budget, look back at missed opportunities, and discuss this year’s relevant study committees. Watch now find out how your work, health care, or your coverage may be impacted.


Want more?
Join the Georgia Health Action Network for more updates, tools, and opportunities for advocacy with GHF. The Georgia Health Action Network (GHAN) is a volunteer consumer health advocacy program that aims to develop grassroots consumers into effective agents for change! Through monthly calls and email action alerts, GHAN participants get the most current information available about pressing consumer health issues in Georgia and have the opportunity to plan and lead advocacy efforts locally and across the state. 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

Georgia releases data on complaints against insurance companies
The Georgia Sun | May 1, 2019

Surprise billing tug of war continues
Albany Herald | March 26, 2019

Change to surprise billing measure gains ground but draws criticism
Georgia Health News | March 25, 2019

Change To Georgia Surprise Billing Measure Gains Ground But Draws Criticism
WABE | March 25, 2019

CON issue revived in state Senate
Albany Herald | March 22, 2019

Kemp backs bid for CON changes, gets House panel OK on waiver plan
Georgia Health News | March 21, 2019

Kemp Backs Bid For Certificate-Of-Need Changes, Gets House Panel OK On Waiver Plan
WABE | March 21, 2019

Kemp backs bid for CON changes, gets House panel OK on waiver plan
Gwinnett Daily Post | March 21, 2019

Bills that passed Georgia House a “first step” on drug transparency
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | March 6, 2019

Effort to tamp down surprise ER bills faces trouble in Georgia House
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | March 18, 2019

MORE >

Contact your House member, Health care waivers, 2019 Health Advocates Guide

Happening now: Cover Georgia Day at the Capitol

Tell your elected officials to take action today!

Cover Georgia Day at the Capitol is happening now! Health advocates are at the state Capitol today speaking with legislators about the need to build a pathway to health insurance coverage for all Georgians. We need you to raise your voice with them!

Advocates will be speaking to their state representatives about SB 106, the Patients First Act, which passed the Senate earlier this week. This legislation, as written, falls short of the promise to put a health insurance card in the pockets of all Georgians because it leaves out thousands who would be covered under a full Medicaid expansion (or a similar 1115 waiver) and will likely cost the state more to cover fewer people. Additionally, the bill allows the Governor to make potentially seismic changes to private health insurance in Georgia through 1332 waivers with little accountability. The good news is that it’s not too late for House members to make a few changes that would allow this legislation to benefit more Georgians at a lower cost to the state.

Your state representatives need to hear from you today! Call or send an email to your elected officials today and encourage them to get the best deal that will ensure all Georgians have coverage!


 

New releases!

New fact sheets put waivers in context

On Tuesday, the Senate passed SB 106, the Patients First Act. The bill allows Georgia’s Governor to pursue two kinds of health care waivers that could make significant changes to health coverage for Georgia consumers: an 1115 Medicaid waiver and 1332 State Innovation waivers. GHF’s partner, Georgia Watch, together with other Cover Georgia coalition partners, has released a fact sheet to help you understand 1115 waivers and how they relate to Georgia’s current debate about Medicaid expansion. Additionally, GHF released a sister fact sheet to help you understand 1332 waivers and how they may impact private health insurance plans in Georgia. Download both today!

&


 

Updated for 2019: A Consumer Health Advocates Guide to the Georgia Legislative Session

GHF’s annual Consumer Health Advocate’s Guide is your map for navigating the Georgia legislative session. This annual booklet provides information about Georgia’s legislative process, legislators, and committees, key agency officials, advocate contacts, and more. Experienced advocates and new volunteers will find their way around Georgia’s Capitol more easily with the information provided in this year’s guide.

(Interested in a hard copy? Contact Michelle Conde.)


Medicaid helps seniors too

Maintaining independence for seniors

Charlie Ellison is 87 years old and a long time resident of Dalton, Georgia. Charlie is one of over half a million seniors and people with disabilities in Georgia who depend on Medicaid and Medicare to live with dignity in their communities. Charlie’s Medicaid coverage allows him to visit RossWoods Adult Day Services each day and reduces the costs of his medications so that he remains as healthy and independent as possible. For 168,000 seniors like Charlie who typically rely on low, fixed incomes, Medicaid makes the difference. Read more of Charlie’s story and see how sharing your story can make an impact!


GHF in the news

Momentum builds to seek waiver to cover more Georgians under Medicaid
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | February 5, 2019


What is Certificate of Need? Explaining a Likely Health Care Fight at the Gold Dome
WABE | February 5, 2019


Kemp to seek Medicaid, Obamacare waivers for Georgia
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | February 8, 2019


What’s in the funding deal for health care
Politico Pulse | February 14, 2019


Lawmakers, Advocates Skeptical of Kemp’s Medicaid Waiver Plan
WABE | February 15, 2019


Senate panel backs waiver bill to insure more Georgians
Gwinnett Daily Post | February 20, 2019


Georgia Senate committee approves Medicaid waiver proposal
Athens Banner-Herald | February 20, 2019


Health care waiver bill passes out of committee. Here’s what it could mean for your family
The Georgia Sun | February 20, 2019


Georgia Senate committee approves Gov. Kemp’s Medicaid waiver proposal
FOX 5 Atlanta | February 20, 2019


Under the Gold Dome, lobbyists are sparring over your health care costs
The Georgia Sun | February 22, 2019


Stalemate or solution? Legislative fight over surprise billing renewed
Georgia Health News | February 22, 2019


Georgia legislative fight over surprise billing renewed
Athens Banner-Herald | February 25, 2019


Surprise hospital bills under review
Statesboro Herald | February 25, 2019

MORE >

Peach Pulse | January 2019

 

 

 

GHF kicks off 2019 legislative session with Health Care Unscrambled breakfast

Thanks to you, this year’s Health Care Unscrambled breakfast was a big success! We were thrilled to have a room packed with advocates, policy makers, and others who joined us for this year’s event. This year’s program began with a personal story from consumer Lori Murdock, who shared her experience struggling to manage a chronic disease without health insurance because she was caught in Georgia’s coverage gap. Our knowledgeable legislative panel then provided valuable insights into the health policy issues they plan to tackle during the 2019 legislative session and in the following months. Afterwards, Dr. David Blumenthal, President of the Commonwealth Fund, brought a wealth of knowledge and insight to our conversation about how innovations in health care and coverage can help us achieve better health outcomes for all Georgians.

You can read the highlights of breakfast on our blog, and be sure to check out our Facebook album to see photos of the event!

Don’t forget! GHF has you covered for the 2019 legislative session. You will receive weekly updates about the health debates at the State capitol, can track health-related legislation on our website, and more.


Save the date
Cover Georgia Day at the Capitol!

Please join us at the state capitol on Thursday, February 28th from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm for Cover Georgia Day! We will be asking state legislators to put insurance cards in the pockets of low-income Georgians who cannot get affordable health care coverage under current law. This is your opportunity to speak to your elected officials and let them know that you support closing Georgia’s coverage gap.

Be on the lookout for further details. An RSVP link will be available soon.

 


In case you missed it

GHF releases 2019 policy priorities

Georgians for a Healthy Future released its 2019 policy priorities at this year’s annual Health Care Unscrambled legislative breakfast. These annual priorities outline the issues that GHF believes are most pressing for Georgia consumers and are best addressed by the state legislature. GHF will work to move all of these issues forward by engaging state policy makers, consumers, and coalition partners throughout the legislative session and the remainder of the year.

  • Increase the number of Georgians with health insurance.
  • Stabilize Georgia’s health insurance Marketplace
  • Ensure access to care and financial protections for consumers purchasing private health insurance.
  • Set and enforce standards that provide for equitable coverage of mental health and substance use treatment services by health plans.
  • Prevent nicotine use and addiction by young Georgians
  • Support partners in integrating health and equity in the policies across every sector to address social determinants of health that prevent equitable access to care and equitable health status.

Get to know Georgia’s Project Aware

Georgia’s state leadership has made serious efforts to improve Georgia’s system of care through the infusion of additional dollars for children’s mental health services in the state budget and through innovative programs like Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience Education (AWARE). Georgia Project AWARE is a youth mental health initiative focused on improving the experiences of school-aged youth in Georgia. You can begin to learn about Georgia’s Project Aware on our blog and be on the lookout for Getting to know Project AWARE: Part II, where we’ll learn more about Youth Mental Health First Aid and how it helps educators meet the social and emotional needs of their students.


GHF in the news

Health care could have ‘big year’ in Georgia’s legislature
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | January 11, 2019


Health care agenda: Will longtime disputes be resolved in the legislature?
Gwinnett Daily Post | January 11, 2019


Health issues face state Legislators CON law, surprise billing, medical marijuana will draw lawmakers’ attention
Albany Herald | January 12, 2019


NAIC Names 2019 Consumer Liaison Representatives
National Association of Insurance Commissioners | January 15, 2019


Georgians for a Healthy Future encourages stakeholders to become Medicaid advocates 
Making a Difference magazine | January 17, 2019


‘Waiver’ on the way? Kemp signals a plan to increase coverage 
Georgia Health News | January 17, 2019


Democrat Trammell says fiscal analysis proves case for Medicaid expansion
Gwinnett Daily Post | January 23, 2019

 

MORE >

November Peach Pulse: Open enrollment ends soon, “New Release November”, #10for10

 

Open enrollment ends soon
Enroll in health insurance before December 15th!

If you or someone you know needs health insurance in 2019, now is your chance to enroll! If you are not covered by Medicaid or job-based insurance, you can shop for coverage and find out if you qualify for financial help. You have until December 15, 2018 to sign up in one of these three ways:

  • Online through healthcare.gov,
  • Over the phone by calling 1-800-318-2596, or
  • In person by visiting localhelp.healthcare.gov to find a list of enrollment assisters, insurance agents, and brokers in your area.

Mark your calendar to make sure that you are covered in 2019!

Already covered?

Help us spread the word about open enrollment on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn. Make sure your family and friends know that now is the time to enroll in health insurance, they may qualify for financial help, and enrollment help is available.


Health Care Unscrambled 2019

Keynote speaker announced!

GHF is excited to welcome Dr. David Blumenthal, President of the Commonwealth Fund, as the keynote speaker for this year’s Health Care Unscrambled legislative policy breakfast! Dr. Blumenthal will bring a wealth of knowledge and insight to our conversation about how innovations in health care and coverage can help us achieve better health outcomes for all Georgians.

We invite you to join Georgians for a Healthy Future for our ninth annual Health Care Unscrambled on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at the Georgia Freight Depot. This annual event brings together legislators, advocates, and national thought leaders to discuss the health care issues facing Georgians and solutions to address them. RSVP today so you can be part of this exciting event!

Sponsorship opportunities are available.


New release November

GHF has two new Medicaid resources!

GHF’s new story book and fact sheet bring attention to the difference Medicaid makes in the lives of Georgians every day and the potential it has to serve those who are currently uninsured. The Medicaid Matters to Georgia storybook shares the real health care stories of Georgia children and families. Our new Medicaid Matters for Georgia fact sheet outlines the basics about Medicaid in Georgia. We hope these new resources help policymakers, advocates, and consumers better understand the importance of ensuring all Georgians have access to quality, affordable healthcare. We invite you to read and share both with your friends, colleagues, and partners.


Getting Georgia Covered 2018

With just weeks left in this year’s open enrollment, Georgians for a Healthy Future releases its annual Getting Georgia Covered report. The annual publication tells the story of how Georgia individuals and families are faring in Georgia’s health insurance marketplace. This report examines how last year’s open enrollment period differed from the preceding four, examines enrollment and cost data, assesses the consumer experience, and identifies policy opportunities to increase enrollment, ensure access to care, address affordability, and protect consumers.


In case you missed it

Donors choose GHF on Georgia Gives Day!

Georgia Gives Day was Tuesday, November 27th and many of you generously chose to support GHF with your donations. THANK YOU!

Don’t worry if you missed it! You can still donate to GHF through our #10for10 giving campaign in celebration of our tenth anniversary! Become a monthly donor today!

Yes I will give $10 donation button


GHF in the news

How midterm elections may impact Obamacare, Medicaid coverage in Georgia 
Gainesville Times | November 12, 2018

MORE >

October Peach Pulse: Health care voter day, new release, and Health Care Unscrambled

 

 

#HealthCareVoter
Got plans this Saturday?

We invite you to join Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute on Saturday, October 27th at 11:30am at New Life Church in Decatur for Georgia Health Care Voter Day! Learn how Georgia can build healthier communities and a thriving future, and show state leaders that you’re a #HealthCareVoter! After the event, attendees living in DeKalb County can go together to vote early! The nearest early voting location is across the street at The Gallery at South DeKalb Mall. Register below!


Before you go to the polls!

Georgians across the state are being asked to decide how they will cast their votes in November. The decisions made by voters like you will directly impact consumer health issues in Georgia like access to health care, affordability of health insurance, the opioid crisis, and health disparities. Our Consumer Health Advocates Guide to the 2018elections 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:

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


Health Care Unscrambled 2019
RSVP today!

Please join Georgians for a Healthy Future for our ninth annual Health Care Unscrambled legislative policy breakfast on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at the Georgia Freight Depot. Each January, we bring together legislators, advocates, and national thought leaders to discuss the health care issues facing Georgians and solutions to address those issues. RSVP today so you can be part of this exciting event!

Sponsorship opportunities are available.


Coverage makes the difference for Georgians
New release: Medicaid Matters for Georgia

GHF has a new resource available to help Georgians get the facts on Medicaid. This fact sheet provides information about who is eligible for Medicaid in Georgia, what health services and supports are covered, and why Medicaid is a good investment for Georgia. Read and share the Medicaid Matters for Georgia fact sheet today.

Download Medicaid Matters for Georgia fact sheet

 


Stories from Georgia’s coverage gap: rural Georgians left behind

After suffering from a sudden stroke, Priscilla lost her job and her health insurance coverage, leaving her on the hook for all of the hospital costs that accumulated as she recovered. She remains unable to work or live alone but was fortunate enough to find a physician where she still receives the limited follow-up care she can afford. For rural Georgia residents like Priscilla, health coverage would open doors to the physicians and services that they need to stay employed or get back to work. Read more of Priscilla’s story and see how sharing your story can make an impact!

 

 


In case you missed it
#GHFcelebrates10

Georgians for a Healthy Future is celebrating ten years as the voice for Georgia health care consumers! We’re revisiting some of ourbiggest accomplishments from the past decade and we need your help to continue the celebration. Join us in celebrating our past successes and join our #10for10 giving campaign to help us accomplish a whole lot more in the next ten years!

Yes I will give $10 donation button

 


GHF in the news
How Medicaid has candidates divided on health care
Gainesville Times | October 17, 2018

How crowdfunding is a digital age answer for medical costs
Gainesville Times | October 4, 2018


Medicaid expansion would benefit rural Georgia
Albany Herald | September 27, 2018


Medicaid expansion would benefit rural areas the most, report says
Georgia Health News | September 26, 2018


Georgia’s rural communities would benefit most from Medicaid expansion, report says
The Telegraph | September 26, 2018


Closer Look: Advocates for Medicaid expansion in Ga.; Old Farmer’s Almanac Predictions; and more
WABE | September 10, 2018


Medicaid expansion question fuels Georgia governor’s race
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | September 10, 2018

MORE >

August Peach Pulse: Questions for health care voters, children’s health, and #GHFcelebrates10

 

Before you go to the polls
What health care voters need to know

Georgians across the state are being asked to decide how they will cast their votes in November. The decisions made by voters like you will directly impact critical consumer health issues in Georgia like access to health care, affordability of health insurance, the opioid crisis, and health disparities.

To help you make decisions about the candidates on your ballot, we put together a list of eight questions to ask of candidates seeking your support.


 One week to get your tickets!
Join the celebration!

There’s just one week left to get your tickets to GHF’s fourth annual Consumer Health Impact Awards! Don’t miss your chance to celebrate the achievements of four amazing awardees who have made great contributions to building a healthier future for all Georgians. This event will also commemorate GHF’s ten-year anniversary as the voice for Georgia health care consumers! RSVP today to join the celebration!


GHF selected for Child Health Leadership Network
GHF’s Executive Director will participate in team from Georgia

GHF’s Executive Director, Laura Colbert, was one of four leaders from Georgia selected to participate in the Child Health Leadership Network. This leadership development program helps state-based teams of child health advocates improve the well-being of children and families in their state through policy change and effective leadership. The Child Health Leadership Network is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Atlantic Philanthropies. Read more about the Child Health Leadership Network and the Georgia team here.


In case you missed it
What you should know about GCAL

GCAL provides 24/7 online and telephone support for Georgians who are seeking services for or in crisis as a result of developmental disabilities, mental health, or substance use conditions. You can call 800-715-4225 or visit mygcal.com if you or someone they care for is facing a behavioral health crisis or in need of services. Get to know more about GCAL in GHF’s newest post from our Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies blog series.


GHF goes to Athens!

Georgians for a Healthy Future hosted a Georgia Voices for Medicaid training this month in partnership with Athens for Everyone. The Georgia Voices for Medicaid trainings are designed to give participants the knowledge and skills they need to advocate for timely, important health care issues impacting Georgians. If you were unable to attend, catch up on with our latest blog post. You can also join us for our next training event in Albany or contact Alyssa Green at agreen@healthyfuturega.org or 404-567-5016, ext. 2 to schedule a training in your community.


 GHF in the news

Atlanta-based organization to host Medicaid advocacy training in Athens

WUGA July 31, 2018

Ruling allows for purchase of cheaper insurance

Albany Herald August 3, 2018

Unusual but welcome: 2 health insurers opt to cut Ga. exchange rates

WABE August 24, 2018

MORE >

July Peach Pulse: New releases, celebrating 10, and more Medicaid

New release!
My Health Resource Guide

GHF has a new resource available to help consumers navigate the often confusing health care, health insurance, and social services systems. Included in the guide are sections about health insurance, finding a health care provider, and accessing mental health and substance use treatment services. The guide also points consumers to social services that fulfill other basic needs like transportation to and from health appointments, housing and food assistance, and legal support. A printable pdf version of the My Health Resource Guide is available below.


Celebrating 10!
Join us for GHF’s 10th anniversary celebration!

On September 6th, GHF will be kicking off our 10th anniversary celebration at the Consumer Health Impact Awards. In keeping with this very special occasion, we will be recognizing the work of four exceptional awardees who have made strides for countless Georgia consumers. We invite you to join us for this inspiring and festive evening! Don’t miss it!

Sponsorship opportunities are available


GHF welcomes new board member
Dr. Jean O’Connor joins GHF’s board of directors

Dr. Jean O’Connor is a consultant for the Task Force for Global Health on chronic and other non-communicable diseases, and previously served as the chronic disease prevention director and chief policy officer for the Georgia Department of Public Health. She brings to GHF an expertise in population health improvement, a passion for improving the systems and policies that influence health outcomes, and a deep resume of health policy accomplishments. Please join us in welcoming Dr. O’Connor to the GHF board of directors!


On GHF’s blog
Coverage saves lives

Queenesther recently underwent surgery to remove an ectopic pregnancy that was causing severe health issues and could have proved fatal. Thanks to her Medicaid coverage she received timely, quality care and has been able to focus on caring for her young family. Queenesther is fortunate compared to many low-income parents because the state legislature has so far refused to extend health coverage to most low-income parents. Read more of Queenesther’s story and see how sharing your story can make an impact!

 


GHF hosts new health advocacy training in Atlanta

Georgians for a Healthy Future hosted a Georgia Voices for Medicaid training this month in partnership with the Central Outreach & Advocacy Center.  The Georgia Voices for Medicaid trainings are designed to give participants the knowledge and skills they need to advocate for timely, important health care issues impacting Georgians. If you were unable to attend, catch up on with our latest blog post. You can also join us for our next training event in Athens or contact Alyssa Green at agreen@healthyfuturega.org or 404-567-5016, ext. 2 to schedule a training in your community.


GHF in the news

Federal funding for ACA ‘navigators’ to drop dramatically in Georgia 
Georgia Health News | July 12, 2018

 

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June Peach Pulse: Medicaid, advocacy trainings, and the Georgia Apex Program

Strengthening Medicaid for all Georgians
Georgians can’t afford to wait

Teresa is one of the 240,000 Georgians who fall in the coverage gap. Because she has been uninsured since 2009, Teresa has to find alternative treatments for a serious dental condition that she developed five years ago. Earlier this month, Virginia voted to extend health insurance coverage to people like Teresa. Georgia’s Governor and state legislature can follow suit and close our state’s coverage gap at any time. Read more about Teresa’s story and five other great reasons that Georgia should follow Virginia’s example on our blog.

 


 

Become a voice for Medicaid in Georgia

Georgians for a Healthy Future is partnering with community groups across the state to host a series of Georgia Voices for Medicaid trainings. You can attend if you are interested in learning more about Georgia’s Medicaid program, who it covers, how it benefits the state, and how you can be a strong health care advocate. Join us for one of these upcoming trainings:

  • Thursday, July 19th, 2:00 – 3:30 pm in downtown Atlanta
  • Friday, August 10, 9:30 am – 11:00 am at the Athens Clarke County Library in Athens, GA

Don’t see a training near you? Email Alyssa Green at agreen@healthyfuturega.org to schedule a training in your community.

 


 

Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies
Get to know the Georgia Apex Program

Some of the state’s recent $21.9 million investment in children’s mental health will fund an expansion of the Georgia Apex Program, a school-based mental health program that aims to improve early identification of, access to and coordination of behavioral health services for students who need them. The Apex Program has demonstrated strong, positive results in its initial two years. Get to know the Georgia Apex Program in GHF’s newest post from our Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies blog series.

 


 

#Protectourcare
Federal government continues to attack consumer health care and coverage

Threats to health coverage and consumer protections continue to emerge from the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services has released a new rule to increase access to association health plans and is expected to release another shortly that expands short-term limited duration plans. Both rules put consumers at risk by increasing access to skimpy insurance plans without robust protections and pushing up premiums for those with pre-existing conditions who need more comprehensive coverage. The federal government’s actions in two court cases also threaten coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and for adults covered by Medicaid. GHF will continue to monitor these developments and will communicate how they may impact you and your family.

 


 

Powerhouse Policymaker Awardees Announced!
Help us celebrate these deserving policymakers!

The Powerhouse Policymaker Awards are given each year to local or state policymakers in Georgia who have exhibited excellence and courage in championing health issues in public policy. This year’s awardees are state Representative Bob Trammell and Georgia Department of Community Health Commissioner Frank Berry!  Read more about our award recipients here and stay tuned for more awardee announcements soon.

We hope you will join us on September 6th to celebrate these champions for health! Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available.

 


 

GHF in the news

Trump administration rule allows cheaper, skimpier health plans 

Atlanta Journal Constitution  |  June 19, 2018

 

 

 

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Peach Pulse: May 2018

Save the date! 

Celebrate our 10-year anniversary at this year’s Consumer Health Impact Awards

Mark your calendar for the fourth annual Consumer Health Impact Awards on Thursday, September 6th at the Venetian Room! We will celebrate GHF’s 10th year of advocating for Georgia’s health care consumers and spotlight the great work of health advocates and policymakers making a difference. Announcements about this year’s awardees will be made next month. Please plan to join us in September!

Sponsorship opportunities are available.


Strategic Plan 2018-2020

GHF adopts new strategic plan ahead of 10-year anniversary

Georgians for a Healthy Future celebrates its ten-year anniversary this year! Prompted in part by this milestone, our leadership launched a new strategic planning effort to chart a path forward for the next phase of GHF’s work. We are excited to share the results with you! We hope that you will find inspiration in our new strategic plan and we invite you to take and active role in helping us achieve the success we have envisioned. To read more about our 2018-2020 strategic plan, check out or newest blog post or download the plan today. 


 

Medicaid Matters for Moms
Two moms, two Medicaid stories

Thanks to Medicaid, Valerie can take care of the health care needs of her three children. Without Medicaid and left in Georgia’s coverage gap, Susie struggles to manage a cancer diagnosis and other health conditions, while caring for her granddaughter full time.

Mother’s Day might be over but Medicaid remains an important asset for some Georgia moms and their kids, while others remain uninsured because of Georgia’s inaction to extend the program. See the difference Medicaid makes in the lives of the extraordinary moms. Read more about Valerie and Susie’s experience on our blog or share their stories on Facebook or Twitter.


Your story is powerful! Share your health care story with us today!


In Case You Missed It
GHF hosts educational forum about children’s behavioral health

On Tuesday, May 15th, GHF hosted Strong Foundations: Building a System of Care to Address the Behavioral Health Needs of Georgia Children. The forum explored the behavioral health needs of Georgia children and youth, Georgia’s publicly-supported behavioral health landscape, and successes and opportunities in the current system of care. In conjunction with the event, GHF released a new behavioral health fact sheet titled Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies, available for download here.

If you missed the event, a recording of the webcast is available here.

To see photos, review materials, and read more about our Strong Foundations event, please visit the event page.


Get Involved

Learn, engage, participate

GHF needs you to make a difference! Join us in shaping the landscape for a healthier Georgia. Your time, donations, and advocacy make the difference in mobilizing consumers for change and crafting policy that works for Georgia consumers. Volunteering with Georgians for a Healthy Future provides an opportunity to raise your voice, connect with like-minded people, and make a difference on the health issues that matter most to you. Inspired to take action? Volunteerdonateadvocate, or contact Michelle Conde at mconde@healthyfuturega.org.

MORE >

Peach Pulse: April 2018

The Fight to Prevent Youth Substance Use
Power of prevention: A new opportunity for providers to address youth substance use

As a result of sustained advocacy efforts by GHF and the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse, Georgia’s Medicaid agency has made an exciting change that will help prevent and identify substance use disorders among Georgia youth and others with Medicaid coverage. The change allows health care providers to use Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral of Treatment (SBIRT), an evidence-based, public health approach that is used to initiate conversations about substance use behaviors, guide follow-up counseling, and connect people to treatment if needed. Because Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids cover half of all Georgia youth, increasing access to SBIRT may significantly decrease substance use among young Georgians and help stem the tide of the opioid epidemic in the state. Read more about SBIRT and this beneficial policy change on our blog.

Are you a health care provider and want to know how you can use SBIRT in your practice? Check out our new fact sheet.


Upcoming Events
Strong Foundations: Building a System of Care to Address Behavioral Health Needs of Georgia Children

Please join GHF on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 from 8:30am – 12:00pm for a discussion of children’s behavioral health in Georgia. Presenters and panelists will provide a variety of perspectives and expertise to help attendees understand Georgia’s system of care, learn about services and programs available to young Georgians with behavioral health needs, and recognize opportunities to strengthen the system through collaboration. Join us in person or via webcast for this exciting and important event!

 


Why Medicaid Matters
For Travis, Medicaid means employment and giving back to the community

Travis suffered from a series of strokes when he was 11 years old that left him with several physical disabilities. Because he is one of the 250,000 Georgians with disabilities to be covered by Medicaid, Travis is able to work and be an advocate. Medicaid is essential to ensuring that people with disabilities, like Travis, are able to lead fulfilling, independent lives as active participants in their communities. Read more about Travis’s experience on our blog or share his story onFacebook or Twitter.

Your story is powerful! Share your health care story with us today!

 


In Case You Missed It
Webinar: Recap of the Georgia legislative session

The 2018 Georgia legislative session ended on March 29th and with it came changes to health care and coverage in Georgia. GHF partnered with the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute to provide you with a recap of what bills and resolutions passed and which didn’t during the session. In addition to successful legislation, we discussed this year’s relevant study committees, and examined the state budget, including important items for health advocates and consumers. If you missed the webinar, you can catch up by watching the archived recording here.

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Peach Pulse: March 2018

 

 COMMITTEE HOLDS HEARING ON CLOSING THE COVERAGE GAP
Appropriations Health Subcommittee Heard HB 669, Discussed Bi-partisan Desire to Increase Access to Care

Tuesday morning the House Appropriations Health Subcommittee met for a hearing about HB 669, a bill that would close Georgia’s coverage gap by extending health insurance to low-income Georgians as allowed by the Affordable Care Act. Minority Leader Bob Trammell presented the bill to the committee and outlined how the bill would bolster economic activity in rural Georgia, increase access to care for low-income Georgians, and be a smart investment of tax-payer dollars. Committee members asked questions about the bill’s impact on people with mental health conditions and the costs and savings of the bill, and all expressed a desire to find a common solution to Georgia’s high uninsured rate and barriers to health care. No vote was taken on HB 669, so the bill remains in the House Appropriations Health subcommittee.

We are hopeful that this hearing will prompt continued conversation about closing the coverage gap. You can help by thanking the members of the committee and asking them to ensure the conversation moves forward towards a solution. Contact them now!

Rep. Butch Parrish – Chairman
Phone:404.463.2247
Email: butch.parrish@house.ga.gov
Rep. Lee Hawkins – Vice Chair
Phone: 404.656.0213
Email: lee.hawkins@house.ga.gov
Rep. Pat Gardner
Phone: 404.656.0265
Email: pat@patgardner.org
Rep. Carolyn Hugley
Phone: 404.656.5058
Email: carolyn.hugley@house.ga.gov
Rep. Ron Stephens
Phone: 404.656.5115
Email: ron.stephens@house.ga.gov
Rep. Darlene Taylor
Phone: 404.656.7857
Email: darlene.taylor@house.ga.gov

For a more detailed account of the hearing make sure to check our latest blog post by clicking here.

LEGISLATIVES UPDATES: NEAR AND FAR

Georgia legislative session ends next week

 

Georgia’s state legislative session is winding down as Sine Die (the last day of the session) approaches on March 29th. With this deadline approaching, some health care bills have seen significant changes and others have been successfully passed. Check out the most recent developments by reading our latest legislative update here. In the final days of the 2018 session, expect to see continued debate over how to best address substance use and recovery, the behavioral health needs of students, surprise out of network medical bills, tobacco taxation and regulation, and more.

REGISTER NOW! Georgia Budget and Policy Institute and Georgians for a Healthy Future will be presenting “Changes in Health Care and Policy in the 2018 Georgia Legislative Session” on Thursday, April 19th at 10:00 AM. Register here.

 

Congressional debates over health care continue as part of spending negotiations

 

 

 

 

Over the last month or so, Congress has been focused on spending negotiations in order to pass a spending bill to fund the government for the remainder of the year and avoid a government shutdown. Health care continues to be a major topic in these conversations, especially in the Senate where activity surrounds efforts to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance Marketplace. There is little agreement among Senate Republicans and Democrats about how to accomplish the shared goal of lowering health insurance premiums for health care consumers who purchase their coverage through the Marketplace; however, discussions are on-going.

Congress is scheduled to be on recess March 24-April 8.

UPCOMING EVENTS
 

GHF and Step Up Savannah co-host health advocacy training!

 

 

 

 

GHF and Step Up Savannah are partnering to host a health advocacy training on Tuesday, April 3rd. The event will be held at 6 pm at the United Way building at 428 Bull Street, Savannah, Ga. Participants will learn how they can participate and lead health advocacy efforts and recieve information about passing health advocacy issues in Georgia. Representatives from Healthy Savannah and Safety Net will also be in attendance to share local resources. If you live in and around Savannah and would like to attend the training, contact Robyn Wainner, Director at Step Up Savannah, 912.232.6747, rwainner@stepupsavannah.org.

Interested in hosting a similar training in your community? We want to partner with you to make that happen! Contact Alyssa Green at agreen@healthyfuturega.org for more information.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Michelle Conde joins GHF staff

 

 

GHF welcomed Michelle Conde as its new Communications & Special Projects Manager in early March. In this role, Michelle will manage GHF’S external communication channels (email, social media, earned media) and leverage social media for digital advocacy. She will also provide policy research support as needed and contribute to the organization’s policy analysis efforts. We are so pleased to have Michelle join the GHF team. For more on Michelle and for her contact information, click here.

GHF IN THE NEWS
Bill Would Let ‘Micro-Hospitals’ in Rural Georgia Counties

WABE  |  March 16, 2018


Nurse sponsors bill critics say would ease sales of tobacco in Georgia

Atlanta Journal Constitution  |  February 27, 2018

MORE >

Peach Pulse: January 2017

 


 

 THE 2017 GEORGIA LEGISLATIVE SESSION IS UNDERWAY!

Georgians for a Healthy Future will be at the Capitol throughout the forty-day session to monitor health-related legislation, serve as a voice for health care consumers, and keep you informed about opportunities to engage and take action. For the past four years, our top policy priority has been closing Georgia’s coverage gap by expanding Medicaid. In the wake of 2016 elections, the national policy landscape has shifted considerably, knocking that off the table this year and placing existing coverage, care, and consumer protections at risk. Despite the backdrop of uncertainty and a critical need for federal advocacy, there will be important decisions made over the next three months at the state level that impact the health of individuals, families, and communities.

While it is early, here are the major health care issues that we expect legislators to tackle in 2017:
  • Renewal of the provider fee, commonly known as the “hospital tax” or “bed tax” to help fund Medicaid and keep hospital doors open
  • Development of a set of reforms to improve mental health services based on recommendations from a legislative study committee
  • Creation of a Health Reform Task Force to assess the impact of change to or repeal of the Affordable Care Act on Georgia
  • Addressing the practice of surprise medical billing, which can leave insured consumers with unexpected bills when a health care provider is out-of-network
  • Increasing reimbursement rates for primary care services for health care providers participating in Medicaid
  • Improving access to dental care for children, seniors, and people with disabilities

Georgians for a Healthy Future has several ways for you to stay up-to-date on what’s happening under the Gold Dome this year:

Stay tuned for updates throughout the Legislative Session!

 

 

 

 

COMING SOON: WEBINAR

Join us for a webinar previewing state & national health policy in 2017
It’s a time of uncertainty for health care. Congressional leaders have already begun the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act. With the legislative session already underway, state leaders have acknowledged that something must be done about Georga’s high number of uninsured, the state’s struggling rural health care system, and impending funding cuts to hospitals. With so much uncertainty and change, it may be hard to keep track of what’s going on in health policy.

We will help sort out the confusion, and discuss expected & proposed changes at both the state and national levels. Join us for a look ahead at health policy 2017.

 

 

 

 

TAKE ACTION TO #PROTECTOURCARE

Coverage, care, and consumer protections hang in the balance for millions of Georgians as Congress considers major changes to health care policy. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed without an adequate replacement, one million Georgians would lose coverage and more than70,000 jobs would be lost in Georgia. Learn more by downloading our new fact sheet here and contact Senators Isakson and Perdue today!

 

 

 

 

 

LAST CHANCE TO GET YOUR TICKETS!

Tickets to Health Care Unscrambled are still available but time is running out. This annual event provides a special opportunity for health care advocates and stakeholders to hear from state policy makers about what they plan to address in the year ahead. We’ll also take a step back and look at the national context. We’ll have a conversation with our panel of national advocates about what is ahead and what advocates should be thinking about in this time of change for health care consumers. Join us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR GREATER ATLANTA AT GHF BOARD MEETING

 

We previously announced that GHF has been awarded a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta. The Foundation works to connect the passions of philanthropists with the purpose of nonprofits. GHF’s board welcomed Kathy Palumbo of the CFGA at the December board meeting to recognize and celebrate the award. Thank you to the CFGA for this opportunity and your partnership.

 

 


 

GHF IN THE NEWS

Interstate health insurance sales had tryout in Georgia
Georgia Health News |  December 7, 2016


Georgia Lawmakers, Advocates, Uninsured Await Healthcare Changes
WABE | December 9, 2016


With its future cloudy, ACA continues to draw rising enrollment
Georgia Health News | December 21, 2016


Signing up for Obamacare in a time of change
GBP | December 29, 2016

 

 

 

 

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Peach Pulse: November, 2016

SHARE YOUR HEALTH CARE COVERAGE STORY!

Recently released HHS numbersenrollment-pic show that health insurance enrollment in Georgia and across the country is going strong. The Affordable Care Act is what has made these coverage gains possible, yet Congress has prioritized repealing this landmark legislation without clarifying what would replace it. We need your stories and your voice to ensure our policymakers understand the consequences of repealing the law. Please consider submitting your story, or the stories of the people that you serve, of how the ACA has benefited you. Whether it’s being able to afford coverage through the availability of tax credits, not being denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, or being able to stay on a parent’s plan until age 26 – we need to hear from you!


ANNUAL HEALTH CARE UNSCRAMBLED

Looking forward to 2017 

HCU-2017-IconPlease join us for our 7th annual Health Care Unscrambled policy breakfast. We are excited to host former CMS Deputy Administrator and nationally renowned Medicaid expert, Cindy Mann. As our keynote speaker, she’ll walk through what advocates need to know about how the proposed changes to health care programs like Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Marketplace coverage being discussed in Washington could impact Georgians, their families, and community. As always, our featured speaker will follow a bipartisan panel of legislators at the forefront of Georgia’s health care debates. Tickets are $50 (and could make a great holiday present!). We hope to see you there!

RSVP


GHF ADDRESSES SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH

hbhcHealth Beyond Health Care

In November GHF convened experts and advocates from a range of sectors including housing, criminal justice reform, education, and transportation for a discussion about social determinants and how we can break down silos to advance health. In conjunction with the convening, we released a new publication, Health Beyond Health Care: Opportunities to Advance Health by AddressingSocial Determinants.

You can find photos from the forum on our Facebook page.


RECORD BREAKING GEORGIA GIVES DAY!

new-piktochart_548_3b837d17a37d2ac745157ef82475385c13503dd0GHF raised $4,380 on Georgia Gives Day! 

We are overwhelmed by the over 70 donors who gave so generously on Georgia Gives Day. This year, the health care stakes are higher than ever, and many of the gains we have made over the past several years in health care coverage and access to care are at risk. We will continue to fight for quality, affordable health care for you, your friends and family, and all Georgians. Thank you for supporting our work!


ICYMI: GHF’S POST-ELECTION BLOG POST

If you unplugged post-election you might have missed our post-election analysis, What’s Next for Health Care Consumers.

The election results have the potential to dramatically shift the health care landscape nationally and here in Georgia. It’s still too soon to know precisely what policy changes will occur and what their impact will be, but advocacy at both the state and federal levels on behalf of Georgians who need access to quality, affordable health care has never been more important. Read more…


SUPPORT GHF WHILE YOU SHOP FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

amazon-smile-pngDid you know that you can support GHF throughout the holiday season? Amazon Smile allows you to select a nonprofit to support. If you choose GHF, every time you shop through Amazon Smile a portion of your purchase goes to support our mission. Signing up is easy! Thank you for your continued support!


GHF IN THE NEWS

Exchange sign-ups in Georgia higher than last year’s 
Georgia Health News | November 30, 2016


2016 elections already influencing Georgia policy
Augusta Chronicle | November 13, 2016


Georgia Republican could be at center of effort to undo Obamacare
AJC | November 10, 2016


How will a Trump presidency affect health care in Georgia?
Georgia Health News | November 9, 2016

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The Peach Pulse: October 2016

NEW PUBLICATION

CollaboratingWithConsumers-2Collaborating for Consumers 

This August, GHF invited both advocates and enrollment assisters to the second annual Getting Georgia Covered summit. Bringing these two groups together was the first step in fostering ongoing conversations and partnerships to ensure that health coverage translates into meaningful access to care for Georgians. Through the summit, GHF collected feedback and input for a report that highlights how assisters and advocates can team up for consumers. We invite you to read and share Collaborating for Consumers: How Assisters and Advocates Can Inform Policy, in which you will find opportunities and best practices for collaboration to achieve our shared goals.


GHF RECEIVES COMPETITIVE GRANT AWARD

communityfoundationlogoWe are proud to announce that GHF has been awarded a grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The Foundation works to connect the passions of philanthropists with the purposes of nonprofits. Awards were given through a highly competitive process and we are excited about this partnership as we continue to work to ensure quality, affordable health care for all Georgians. Read the Foundation’s press release.


DID YOU KNOW…

kcmnbmeaiClosing the Coverage Gap Means More Breast Cancer Screenings for Women

Uninsured, low-income women often face financial barriers to receiving recommended screenings for breast and cervical cancer, and in Georgia, minority women face additional breast cancer disparities. Women who live in expansion states are 25 percent more likely to get screened. Read more.


UPCOMING EVENTS

healthinallpolicies-CopyHealth Beyond Health Care: A Starting Point for Addressing the Social Determinants of Health Through State Policy

There is a growing recognition that factors outside the formal health care system such as safe and affordable housing, access to transportation, and criminal justice reform also impact the health of individuals, families, and communities. Join GHF to discuss how health intersects with these sectors and how advocates from across sectors can work together for policy change.

Go to event page.


HCU-2017-IconHealth Care Unscrambled 2017

Please join us for our seventh annual Health Care Unscrambled breakfast. Each January we bring together legislators and advocates to discuss the health care issues facing Georgians and how this legislative session might address them. This year’s event includes special national speaker, Cindy Mann, former Deputy Administrator and Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and a discussion of the upcoming session with a bi-partisan panel of legislators. This event will be held at the Georgia Freight Depot; tickets are $50. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Go to event page.


A CONVERSATION WITH AUTHOR DANIEL DAWES
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We truly enjoyed hosting author Daniel Dawes and all who attended this month’s book conversation. Dawes is a nationally recognized leader in the health equity movement who was instrumental in shaping the Affordable Care Act. Those experiences, as well as the complex history of health reform in America, can be found in his compelling book, 150 Years of Obamacare. We hope you’ll join us for our next event!
More pictures are up on our Facebook page!


GEORGIA GIVES DAY IS JUST A FEW WEEKS AWAY!

screenshot_2
Click here to learn more!


TODAY IS THE START OF OPEN ENROLLMENT!

Resources for Consumers and Enrollment Assisters
Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace has begun! Do you need help shopping for a new plan or figuring out how to find a plan that suits your needs? Are you an enrollment assister helping people enroll? Be sure to check out our newly updated “Get Insured. Stay Insured.” toolkit. If you need in-person help, you can go to localhelp.healthcare.gov.


UPCOMING PUBLICATION

healthcarecostsMarket Changes
Approximately half a million Georgians secure health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace or on the individual market because they don’t have access to coverage at work. As this market matures, policymakers at the state and national levels are engaged in discussions about how to ensure the market remains competitive and premiums are affordable. How is the Marketplace shaping up in Georgia 2017? Stay tuned for our primer coming out this November. It will explain some of the features of the marketplaces that ensure affordability, factors shaping the current landscape, how they factors impact Georgians who shop for plans, and ways in which the marketplaces can be improved at the state level.
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The Peach Pulse: September 2016

A NIGHT TO REMEMBER: THE 2016 CONSUMER HEALTH IMPACT AWARDS 

photo-grid

Thank you to everyone who joined us!

Last week’s 2016 Consumer Health Impact Awards was a truly wonderful event. We enjoyed celebrating Linda Smith Lowe Health Advocacy Award winner Tim Sweeney who flew in from Oregon for the event. Carole Maddux reminded us what selflessness really is. And both Senator P.K. Martin and Representative Stacey Abrams showed us what can happen when our policymakers work together for the benefit of all Georgians.

You can find the rest of the photos on our Facebook page and see if your tweet made our Storify story of the night here.


DID YOU KNOW…

13_adult-workers…that the majority of Georgians in the coverage gap are working?

They’re working in some of Georgia’s most important economic sectors, such as construction, transportation, education, and retail. Lower-wage workers are less likely to have access to affordable health coverage through their jobs than workers at higher-wage jobs. Closing the coverage gap will increase health coverage for hundreds of thousands of workers without job-based coverage and is a smart investment in hard-working people who enable Georgia to prosper. Share this infographic to spread the word!


FOR NOW…

some-georgians

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

As we approach the 2017 legislative session, we have the opportunity to close the coverage gap and ensure that some becomes all. Check out our new video about the Georgians stuck in the coverage gap and our opportunity to close it.

We’re asking that you be a part of the movement and contribute $25 to our campaign to close the coverage gap. Your contribution will allow us to travel across the state, meeting with and raising up the voices of Georgians in the gap. It will fund our media efforts so that everyone, from Blue Ridge to Bainbridge, will know that these people can’t wait. The time to close the coverage gap is now.

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ENROLLMENT UPDATES

GHF & Consumer Assistance

Although we are primarily a health advocacy organization, GHF has provided direct enrollment services to Georgians in the last three open enrollment periods. Last year, GHF primarily focused on more complex consumer cases such as resolving coverage issues with the Marketplace and insurance providers, payment issues, tax filing and reconciliation issues, and issues with supplemental documents. How did it go? Read more in Pranay’s blog.

Partnering with Enroll America

GHF is now several weeks into our training partnership with Enroll America. GHF was selected as the first organization, nationally, to participate this year in the Leadership Academy in a train-the-trainer model. Read more about what we’re doing here.


UPCOMING EVENTS

150-years-of-obamacareA Conversation with Author Daniel Dawes
October 25, 2016, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
RiRa, 1080 Peachtree St. NE

For a second installment in our book discussion and networking series, we’re meeting with Daniel Dawes, author of 150 Years of Obamacare.

Attorney Daniel Dawes is a nationally recognized leader in the health equity movement and has led numerous efforts to address health policy issues impacting vulnerable, underserved, and marginalized populations. Dawes was instrumental in shaping the Affordable Care Act and through that experience has come to write 150 Years of Obamacare. The book provides a comprehensive and unprecedented review of the health equity movement and little-known leadership efforts that were crucial to passing important public policies.

Go to event page.


HCU-2017-IconHealth Care Unscrambled 2017
January 12, 2017 7:30 – 11:00 AM
The Freight Depot

It is that time of year! We hope you’ll join us again for Health Care Unscrambled as we look ahead at the 2017 legislative session. Stay tuned for more about our speakers and panelists!

Go to event page.


GHF PRESENTS AT COMMUNITY CATALYST’S ANNUAL SOUTHERN HEALTH PARTNERS CONVENING

img_5085GHF Policy Analyst Meredith Gonsahn presents on accurate provider directories

This September, Meredith was asked to present at Community Catalyst’s Southern Health Partners convening. She covered the passage of SB 302, a bill passed in the 2016 legislative session requiring, among other things, that health insurance provider directories be accurate. Wondering how it happened? Check out our new video, How A Bill Becomes Law (For Real).


IN THE NEWS

Augusta hospitals, clinics providing better care
The Augusta Chronicle | September 27

Georgia again ranks high in rate of uninsured
Georgia Health News | September 13

Hall residents lose insurance options as providers pull out of Affordable Care Act
Gainesville Times | September 12

Georgia’s big business key to health care challenge
Marietta Daily Journal | September 7

MORE >

The Peach Pulse: August 2016

GEORGIA CHAMBER RELEASES OPTIONS TO EXPAND COVERAGE
We are heartened that business leaders and health care industry stakeholders recognize the important role that coverage plays in a healthy and productive Georgia. We believe a coverage solution is one that extends coverage to all those Georgians caught in the coverage gap, does not erect unnecessary barriers to care, and maximizes the federal dollars set aside for Georgia. The Chamber’s proposal is an important step in this direction. Read more about the proposals and GHF’s position here.

 

Recent news articles about the task force proposals:

Task force unveils options to cover uninsured in Georgia | Georgia Health News
Georgia Chamber pitches conservative-friendly blueprint for Medicaid expansion | AJC
Ga. Chamber Releases Plan for Expanding Health Care Access | WABE


DID YOU KNOW…

05_who-gets-medicaidDid you know that not everyone with a low income qualifies for Medicaid in Georgia today? Georgia has very restrictive Medicaid eligibility guidelines; adults without dependent children do not qualify for Medicaid, regardless of their income. Here’s who qualifies:

  • Elderly, blind, and disabled people with incomes below 75% of the federal poverty line (FPL) – $13,200 for an elderly couple
  • Parents with minor children with annual incomes below 38% FPL or $7,600 for a family of three
  • Pregnant women with incomes below 225% FPL, or $26,500 for an individual
  • Children are eligible for Medicaid and Peachcare at varying incomes levels as they age, and one in two Georiga kids is covered by those programs

If that was new information for you, share the infographic to the left on social media to spread the word.


POSTCARDS FOR COVERAGE

Who doesn’t love to get mail? 

and age, but it still holds a lot of meaning to most people. If someone took the time to write you a letter to ask you to do something, wouldn’t that get your attention? Now imagine if you got multiple letters asking you to do something for your family, friends, and neighbors. That’s exactly what happened for a majority of Georgia’s state Senate and House members. In July, we mailed out over 1,100 postcards asking our legislators to close Georgia’s coverage gap. Read more about the postcard project here. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, it’s not too late! You can add your name here.

postcards rep-stacey-abrams1 sen-david-lucas


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE – STUDY COMMITTEES

policy-prioritiesStudy committees are right around the corner!

Some of the most pressing and contentious health and insurance issues facing Georgians will be front and center during legislative study committee meetings this fall. Below are the committees in which GHF will be actively engaged on the advocacy and policy fronts:

Senate Study Committee on Surprise Billing Practices (SR 974)
This study committee is charged with assessing laws to protect consumers against surprise billing.

Senate Study Committee on Premium Assistance(SR 1056)
The committee will closely examine models and policies for premium assistance programs as an alternative to Medicaid expansion and is anticipated to be a forum for a robust discussion about policy options to close the coverage gap.

Senate Study Committee on Opioid Abuse (SR 1165)
This study committee will look at legislative approaches Georgia can take to stem the rise of opioid addiction and related overdose deaths.

For more on these and other study committees, check out Meredith’s blog post.


GHF PRESENTS AT THE NAIC SUMMER MEETING

naicGHF’s Executive Director Cindy Zeldin attended the summer meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) last week in her capacity as a consumer representative to the NAIC. Cindy presented information on Georgia’s provider directory legislation (SB 302) on a panel during the meeting’s Consumer Liaison session. The consumer representatives as a group also released a new policy paper on prescription drug access and affordability, Promoting Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs: Policy Analysis and Consumer Recommendations for State Policymakes, ConsuemrAdvocates, and Health Care Stakeholders. Read more about the meeting and report in Cindy’s blog.


GET TO KNOW OUR AWARDEES

Tim Sweeney

For more than 10 years Tim set the standard for reliable and responsible health policy analysis in Georgia. His insights and analysis equipped Georgia’s health advocacy community with the information needed to be a strong voice for consumers. Tim will be awarded the Linda Smith Lowe Health Advocacy Award. More.

Carole Maddux

Carole lives and breathes health care access through her work leading Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center in Pickens County. She provides a clear, moral voice for systemic change in health care, speaking out on behalf of Medicaid expansion and other important public policies. Carole will receive the Community Impact Award.More.

Rep. Stacey Abrams

As Minority Leader, Rep. Abrams leads her caucus in its efforts to enact legislation across a range of complex issues, always making time for health care. A tireless champion of Medicaid expansion, Rep. Abrams will receive the Powerhouse Policymaker Award. More.

Sen. P.K. Martin

Sen. Martin’s SB 302 is a groundbreaking piece of legislation that sets basic standards for provider directories and protections for consumers who rely on them. A second term legislator who isn’t afraid to take on complicated issues, Sen. Martin will receive the Powerhouse Policymaker Award. More.

abrams-standard-twitter-size-headshot carole-maddux-headhot martin-standar-twitter-size-headshot sweeney-standard-twitter-size-headshot

Tickets are now available! RSVP here.


GEORGIA’S EMERGING OPPORTUNITY TO TURN THE TIDE ON SUBSTANCE USE

SBIRT_CranberrySubstance use prevention should be at the forefront of the minds of Georgia policymakers as they convene the Opioid Abuse Senate study committee (SR 1165) to identify strategies to address the opioid epidemic in the upcoming months. Substance use can oftentimes be prevented and reduced through a public health approach such as SBIRT – screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment. As part of our advocacy and policy efforts to make the case for greater use of SBIRT, GHF and the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse commissioned a fiscal analysis of the costs and benefits of supporting SBIRT through Medicaid. Stay tuned for the release of the full report and white paper outlining key findings.


PARTNERING TO COVER KIDS

chidlrenshealthcoverageDespite a sharp drop in the rate of uninsured children since 2014, Georgia still has 189,000 uninsured children. Their families are without the financial protection that comes with coverage. To address this need, people who regularly work with children need to be aware of the importance of health coverage to children and have the resources they need to connect kids and families with coverage quickly and easily.

That’s why GHF partnered with the Georgia Departments of Education and Public Health to conduct a webinar called “Covering Kids.” Read more about the webinar and the CEU credits available for nurses.


ENROLLMENT UPDATE

EnrollmentBrief2016imageNew Policy Report Released

This month, GHF released our new enrollment report, Getting Georgia Covered: What We Can Learn from Consumer and Assister Experiences During the Third Open Enrollment Period. Inside the report you’ll find:

  • Key themes in consumer and assister experiences during the 2016 open enrollment period
  • Best practices for outreach, enrollment, and reaching eligible Georgians who remain uninsured
  • Policy opportunities to increase enrollment, improve access to care, and address affordability issues

Read more.

DSC_0299Getting Georgia Covered

Health advocates, service providers, and enrollment assisters combined forces this month for a day of learning, sharing and planning at our second annual Getting Georgia Covered summit. From more about the event and speakers, click here. For event photos, check out our Facebook photo album!


MEDIA COVERAGE

Task force unveils options to cover uninsured in Georgia
Georgia Health News | August 31, 2016


Blue Cross To Be Sole Obamacare Insurer In Most Ga. Counties
WABE | August 30, 2016


State accepts new hike in Blue Cross exchange premiums
Georgia Health News | August 23, 2016


Blue Cross may bump up rates on Georgia insurance exchange
Georgia Health News | August 19, 2016


Aetna Latest Insurer To Leave Georgia’s Insurance Exchange
WABE | August 17, 2016


Another big defection from Georgia insurance exchange
Georgia Health News | August 16, 2016


Aetna pulls out of Obamacare exchanges in Georgia, 10 other states
Georgia Report | August 16, 2016

MORE >

The Peach Pulse: July 2016

HOW WE THINK ABOUT HEALTH

healthinallpoliciesThe complex factors that contribute to health

At GHF, we have historically spent much of our time and energy on ‘traditional’ issues in health care – health insurance, access to care, costs to consumers, and health care quality and value. But we all know there’s so much more to health than that. Factors like education, housing, criminal justice and corrections, and transportation all impact our health and well-being. These factors are called social determinants of health.

This year, GHF is launching a new project to bring together stakeholders and advocates from across sectors to identify promising policy initiatives that can address the social determinants of health. Read more about the project here.


ADVANCING HEALTH EQUITY FOR LGBT GEORGIANS

Georgians for a Healthy Future teams up with Georgia Equality and The Health Initiative

Together, we are working to help Georgians who have faced discrimination in health care report it so we can help stop it from happening again. Learn more about this project and initiative here.

If you believe you have been discriminated against, you can file a complaint online with the Office for Civil Rights. Please also tell us about your experience so we can help you navigate the complaint process and identify systemic issues that should be addressed through public policy. Want to stay up-to-date on this project and issues impacting the health care of LGBT Georgians? Let Anna know and we’ll keep you posted!


A WIN FOR GEORGIA HEALTH CARE CONSUMERS

IconDepartment of Justice moves to block major health insurance mergers 

Two weeks ago, the DOJ announced they will file suit to block both the Aetna-Humana and Anthem-Cigna health insurance mergers. Earlier this month, GHF released a policy report, Proceed with Caution: Proposed Health Insurance Mergers Could Harm Georgia Consumers, which details Georgia’s current health insurance market and how these mergers could decrease competition and access to care while increasing prices. Read more about what this means and check out Georgia Health News’s coverage as well an interview with GHF Executive Director Cindy Zeldin on WABE’s A Closer Look


A GREAT CONVERSATION!

20160719_205414Thank you to those who joined us for “A Conversation with Author Mike King” 

We had a great time on July 19th with friends and advocates talking with Mike King, author of A Spirt of Charity: Restoring the Bond Between America and Its Public Hospitals! The conversation centered around the past, present, and future of health care in America and in Georgia. You can find pictures from the event here.


ICYMI: CONSUMER HEALTH IMPACT AWARDEES ANNOUNCED!

chia-awardees-stacey-pk-carole-tim2

Please join us in congratulating our four awardees!

We are thrilled to recognize this group of amazing consumer health care advocates! We encourage you to learn more about them, their commitment, and their impact. This year’s celebration will be on September 28th at Park Tavern. We hope you will join us as we honor their dedication and that of advocates across the state. RSVP


JOIN US FOR OUR 2ND ANNUAL ENROLLMENT SUMMIT

Enrollment-Summit-e1466617074424-150x150August 16, 2016 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Sloppy Floyd Building

Please join us for a half-day summit focusing on opportunities for collaboration between health care advocates, providers, policy experts, community-based nonprofit organizations, and enrollment assisters to better reach our shared goals of improving health care coverage and access to care in Georgia. Confirmed speakers include:

 

  • Dr. Pamela Roshell, Region IV Director, US Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dr. Bill Custer, Director of the Center for Health Services Research and Associate Professor, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University
  • Heather Bates, Deputy Director, Enrollment Assister Network, Families USA
  • Sandy Anh, Associate Research Professor, Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms

This is a free event. Lunch will be provided. RSVP


ENROLL AMERICA

Enroll-AmericaWe are excited to announce that we have been selected to be a part of the Enroll America Get Covered Academy – Leadership Track! The Leadership Track will focus on expanding our knowledge of best practices for outreach, enrollment, and reaching the remaining uninsured. Additionally, GHF will be the only organization in the Academy that is participating in the “train-the-trainer” curriculum. This specialized training will allow GHF staff to be trained on Enroll America’s Get Covered Academy topics and best practices to ultimately impart this knowledge to enrollment assisters throughout the state. Stay tuned for further updates on how we will take advantage of this opportunity and thank you to Enroll America for your support!


IN THE NEWS

A Closer Look
Rose Scott and Jim Burress | WABE

As feds file suit over insurance deals, Georgia postpones hearing
Andy Miller | Georgia Health News

Invest in our state by closing the coverage gap 

Laura Colbert | Georgia Health News

MORE >

The Peach Pulse: June 2016

CLOSING THE COVERAGE GAP UPDATE

It’s been an exciting month for Close the Gap advocates!

We are pleased to see that several of Georgia’s leaders have expressed to the press that they are willing to take a second look at closing Georgia’s coverage gap. We hope to work with our state leaders in the coming months to build further support and to find a solution that works for all Georgians. Below you’ll find a few links to articles covering the conversation happening at the Gold Dome.

Louisiana’s expanding Medicaid, Georgia should too
Flagpole | June 22

Task force aims to reshape Georgia stance on health coverage
Georgia Health News | June 21

Why a Ga. GOP chair wants to ‘re-examine’ Medicaid expansion
WABE June 15

Read more here 


KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING

1-000-and-counting

1,000 names is a strong showing – but we need more!

Share the above infographic with a message encouraging your social network to add their names! You can find the petition here.


DON’T MISS THESE UPCOMING EVENTS!

Final book cover-1A Conversation with Author Mike King

July 19 6:30 – 8:30 PM
The Warren City Club

Health care advocates and friends – please join us for a book signing and conversation with Atlanta journalist Mike King, author of A Spirt of Charity: Restoring the Bond Between America and its Public Hospitals. His new book explores the role of public hospitals in our health system, weaving Georgia’s history – and the history of Grady – into this national story. In advance of the event, our executive director, Cindy Zeldin sat down with King to talk about his book. Read their conversation here.

We will provide appetizers and there will be a cash bar. This is a free event. RSVP here.


Enrollment-Summit-e1466617074424-150x150Getting Georgia Covered: How Consumer and Assister Experiences can Increase Enrollment and Inform Policy

August 16 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Sloppy Floyd Building

Please join us for our second annual enrollment summit. This year we are focusing on strengthening relationships between the health policy community and the enrollment assistance community. The summit will include speakers from the Georgetown Center for Health Insurance Reforms, Families USA, and Region IV HHS. Learn more about the agenda and RSVP here.


CHIA 2015 Awards2016 Consumer Health Impact Awards

September 28 6:30 PM
Park Tavern

Tickets are now on sale for the 2016 Consumer Health Impact Awards! Three awards recipients have so far been revealed; join us in congratulating them!

  • Community Impact Award – Carole Maddux, Executive Director, CEO of the Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center
  • Powerhouse Policymaker – Senator P.K. Martin
  • Powerhouse Policymaker – House Minority Leader, Representative Stacey Abrams

Only July 11th we’ll be revealing the recipient of the Linda Smith Lowe Health Advocate Award, so make sure you’re following us on Facebook and Twitter! You can preview some of the silent auction items here and RSVP here.


OUT AND ABOUT WITH GHF

Neil SUD 2016Keeping up the Drumbeat for Youth Substance Use Prevention

This June, we joined advocates from other states in Philadelphia for the Community Catalyst Substance Use Disorders Advocacy Convening. The three-day conference gave us valuable insight for the next phase of our advocacy and policy efforts to expand the use of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) through the activation of Medicaid codes for youth. Activating Medicaid codes would allow providers to be reimbursed for the time they spend conducting SBIRT and would encourage greater use of the tool. Read more about this project and the convening here.


Peachtree CornersPeachtree Corners Festival 

Georgia’s many summer festivals provide a unique opportunity for GHF and our partners to get out in the community and talk with people about how health policy impacts their lives and how they can be advocates. On June 11th and 12th, we continued our summer festival outreach with an information and education booth at the Peachtree Corners Festival. Read more about the festival and our conversations with people in the coverage gap here.


EbenezerWomen’s Day at Ebenezer Baptist Church

Ebenezer Baptist Church is a cornerstone of advocacy and social justice in Atlanta. On June 20th, Laura Cobert, Director of Outreach & Partnerships, was invited to join their Women’s Season celebrations to talk about the importance fo closing Georgia’s coverage gap. She spoke to a crowd fo about 60 women on a day when the theme was health and self-care. To read more about the event and Laura’s presentation, click here.


IN THE NEWS

Task force aims to reshape Georgia stance on health coverage
Georgia Health News| June 21

SEE MORE

MORE >

The Peach Pulse: May 2016

HEALTH CARE UPDATES

healthequityAn Important Step Towards Health Equity

On May 13, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the ACA, an important milestone in the movement towards health equity. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in all health programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance through HHS, are administered through HHS, or are established under Title 1 of the ACA. Notably, Section 1557 marks the first time that sex discrimination in health care is prohibited and clarifies that gender identity and sex stereotyping are included in this definition. For more check out this blog post.


networkadequacyYield for Consumers: Insurance Mergers in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Insurance will hold hearings this summer on proposed health insurance company mergers that, if approved as requested, could limit choice and increase costs for Georgia health care consumers. Georgia regulators have the opportunity through these hearings to assess the merits of these mergers and to place conditions on them that can mitigate negative outcomes for consumers, but advocacy is needed to accomplish this. Read on for more about mergers, how GHF plans to engage in the hearing process on behalf of Georgia health care consumers, and how you can weigh in.


share_OE4#Enrollment365

The weather is heating up and the official start of summer is just around the corner, but here at GHF we’re already looking ahead to one of the hallmarks of fall: open enrollment! Earlier this spring, new renewal policies and consumer shopping tools were announced and health insurance plans released their initial rate filings, giving us early insights into what we might expect in the upcoming open enrollment period: November 1, 2016 – January 31, 2017. But while we’re busy preparing for OE4, we also know that health insurance enrollment happens year-round. Read on for more about new rules for special enrollment periods, rate filings, and how to stay up to date on all things enrollment.


THE IMPACT OF THE CONSUMER VOICE

Does a strong consumer voice make a difference in health policy outcomes? At GHF, consumer engagement is woven into each of our initiatives to bring the needs and voices of Georgia health care consumers into the public policy process. Over the past two years, one of our top priorities has been maximizing health insurance enrollment and ensuring that once