Peach Pulse | Cover GA advocacy day is Monday, public health, legislative session so far, & more!


February 2023


February 27th: Join Cover Georgia at the Georgia Capitol to advocate for Medicaid expansion

Join Cover Georgia to ask our lawmakers to expand Medicaid so all Georgians–regardless of their income–have a pathway to health coverage. This Monday, Cover Georgia will host an advocacy day at the Georgia Capitol. The morning will begin with a training for those who want to learn more about the opportunity for Medicaid expansion in Georgia. You will learn effective advocacy skills to help you talk with your legislator and visit the Capitol to put your training into action! 

This is your chance to speak up about one of the biggest issues impacting the health of Georgians. Make your voice heard in support of Medicaid expansion in Georgia!

RSVP for 2023 Cover Georgia’s advocacy training!

Can’t make it to the Capitol this Monday? You can still let your lawmakers know that you care about this issue and you want them to take action. Take a few minutes to contact your state legislators now! Ask the House Health Committee to hear HB 62! Then ask the Senate Appropriations, Health subcommittee for a hearing on SB 24! Both bills would expand Medicaid in Georgia. Hearings give supporters and opponents a chance to publicly make their cases for or against an issue. Ask state leaders to allow a public and fair discussion of this important issue today!



GHF at the Capitol 

As the 2023 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:

  • SB 65 would would move Georgia’s health insurance marketplace from (which is managed and run by the federal government) to a state-based marketplace (SBM). GHF testified that there are many trade-offs to be considered when establishing an SBM. You can watch GHF’s 3-minute testimony here and the full committee hearing here. When the bill was heard in the House Insurance committee, GHF and partner groups also encouraged the legislature and the Department of Insurance to commit to maintaining and growing funding for local consumer outreach and assistance. This kind of investment would prevent coverage losses and set the SBM up for the greatest success.
  • SB 20, called the CATCH Act, is Senator Kirkpatrick’s network adequacy bill. GHF offered testimony in support of strengthening Georgia’s network adequacy standards and protecting consumers from high costs when they are forced to see an out-of-network provider.
  • GHF submitted a letter of support to the House Public Health Committee about the importance of HB 226, which would allow low-income Georgians who live with HIV to enroll in Medicaid coverage.
  • GHF is weighing in and tracking bills that would expand Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) (HB 129); increase tobacco and vaping taxes (HB 191 and HB 192); establish a commission to reduce and eliminate the waiting list for home- and- community-based services for Georgians with disabilities (SB 198); and others.

Follow GHF’s legislative tracker and read our weekly legislative updates (via email or catch up on our blog) to follow the action under the Gold Dome.


How preemption policies can hurt public health

In 2021 Georgians for a Healthy Future launched a project to raise awareness about the health harms of laws that stop, limit, or discourage local policy-making by communities about their health and well-being. These kinds of laws are sometimes described as “preemption” and they stand in the way of policy issues like:
  • Adding a local sales tax to smoking and vaping products to prevent youth use;
  • Banning plastic bags in sensitive environments like Georgia’s coast;
  • Requiring businesses to provide paid family leave;, and
  • Raising the minimum wage for local workers.

Preemption can remove opportunities for effective, local public health action. One of the best ways to prevent state leaders from blocking local policy solutions is to recognize what preemption looks like and to speak up in support of public health in Georgia.. Help keep public health local by:




















Medicaid members: Medicaid renewals are coming soon. Take steps now to stay in charge of your coverage.

Medicaid renewals are re-starting this spring. To make sure Medicaid can reach you with important information about your health coverage and renewal, update your contact information at

Beginning April 1st, Georgia will begin checking who is still eligible for Medicaid or PeachCare for Kids coverage. During this time, Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids members may be asked to provide more information or complete certain steps. It is very important to respond to these requests. The requests will be sent in the mail or to your email. That’s why it’s so important to update your contact information at!


The steps you take now will help you stay in charge of your Medicaid coverage. Give yourself and your family the best chance of continuing to see the doctor, get prescriptions, and stay healthy.
















Don’t stress! You can still apply for coverage in some circumstances.

special enrollment period is a time period outside of open enrollment when you can still sign up for health insurance. You may qualify for a special enrollment period if you have a life event like losing or changing jobs, getting married, or the death of a family member, among others. Depending on your life event, you may have 60 days before or 60 days following the event to enroll in health insurance so don’t delay!

Have questions or need help during this special enrollment period? Connect with health insurance navigator Deanna Williams at or (470) 654-5509.

More information is available on GHF’s Get Help with Health Insurance webpage.
















Share your health care story now! 

Your story matters and we are here to amplify yours. Our fellow Georgians and our lawmakers need to hear about your health challenges and victories.

Experiences like yours let lawmakers know what’s working, and what’s not, in our health care system. Your story shows our leaders why we need to change laws & policies so that health care is more affordable, accessible, and benefits our communities. Let our GHF team work with you to share your health care story.

We’re particularly interested in hearing from you if you are uninsured, enrolled in health insurance through, have or had medical debt, or have Medicaid coverage.

This year GHF documented stories from community members following two local hospital closures in Glenwood and Cuthbert, Georgia. We are humbled to share both stories with you today in two videos.

Watch the Glenwood and Cuthbert stories on our Georgia Can’t Wait page. Learn more about how communities struggle when hospitals are allowed to fail, in part because of our leaders’ refusal to expand Medicaid to their uninsured constituents.

We welcome all stories, so don’t be shy! Share your story now! Write or record your story here.



State’s ‘Pathways’ Medicaid program set to begin July 1 amid continued controversy
State Affairs | February 2, 2023

Georgia’s Medicaid expansion will cover more low-income adults. But it will also leave many behind
Capitol Public Broadcasting | February 14, 2023


Communications Tool: Plain Language for Public Health
Public Health Communications Collaborative

The Public Health Communications Collaborative has created a new Plain Language for Public Health guide to support public health communicators in creating messaging to advance health literacy, build trust in your organization as a source of information, and promote overall community health.

Messaging: Plan to End COVID Emergency Declarations
Public Health Communications Collaborative

The Biden administration announced it plans to end the COVID-19 national emergency declarations on May 11, 2023. Before the declarations expire, the administration and other national, state, and local leaders will share detailed information about what the policy change will mean for organizations, healthcare providers, individuals, and families. Here is some basic information from Public Health Communications Collaborative about the announcement.