Peach Pulse | June celebrations ūüéČ, alert for Friday Health customers, public health, & more!


June 2023


This Juneteenth, Black Georgians of color deserve better!

Despite living in a state that is recognized as a global hub of health care innovation, employment, and investment, Black Georgians continue to experience worse health than white Georgians. The ways that our laws are structured is one cause for this inequality.

Black Georgians still lack equal access to affordable health care in our state. Almost 15% of Black Georgians are uninsured, compared to 11.9% of white Georgians who are uninsured. Additionally, Black Georgians are more likely to have medical debt in collections than white Georgians, due in part to higher uninsured rates.

Fortunately, our state leaders have an opportunity to reduce this inequity. The most effective action they could take is to expand Medicaid to cover uninsured adults in Georgia. This action would cover an estimated 140,000 Black Georgians and more than 490,000 Georgians total.

A gift for Georgia dads? Medicaid expansion!

For more than a decade,¬†400,000 Georgians¬†have not been¬†able to meaningfully access Georgia’s health care system because our state has not expanded Medicaid to all low-income, uninsured adults.¬†One in four¬†people in this coverage gap are Georgia¬†parents.¬†When dads and other parents don’t have health coverage, their children’s¬†well-being also suffers. The health of Georgia’s children depends on their parent’s ability to care and support them–a task that is much easier for healthy, thriving parents.

Parents can only stay healthy if they can visit a doctor when they are sick, get affordable medicines at the pharmacy, and can be screened early for illnesses like cancer.

GHF and Cover Georgia are celebrating Juneteenth and Father’s Day all month long by letting state leaders know how Black Georgians and dads would be better off with Medicaid expansion.¬†Tell your state legislators¬†today that¬†ALL Georgians¬†deserve better access to health care with Medicaid expansion!




Friday Health Plans are ending July 31st! Switch plans now to avoid a gap in coverage.

Friday Health Plans, an insurance company offering individual health insurance in Georgia, is going out of business. If you have a Friday plan through, your coverage will end on July 31, 2023 (at the end of the day).

Friday plan members now qualify for a special enrollment period (SEP) so that you can choose a new plan before your coverage ends. You should select a new plan before July 31, 2023 to avoid a gap in coverage. If you miss that deadline, you can still enroll in a new plan through September 29th.

The Georgia Department of Insurance has set up¬†this website¬†to help answer questions for Friday plan members. If you need additional help, please contact one of GHF’s¬†health insurance navigators:

New Pathways program slated to begin this Saturday, July 1st

Governor¬†Kemp’s¬†Pathways¬†to Coverage program (aka ‚ÄúPathways‚ÄĚ), will be begin¬†this Saturday, July 1st. The program¬†is a new Medicaid program for uninsured adults who are working at least part time and have low incomes.

Uninsured Georgia adults (ages 19-64) with incomes at or below the poverty level can apply for Medicaid coverage if they meet stringent work requirements. If you think you may qualify, visit to apply for coverage. (You can also call Deanna or Angelica for help with your application. Scroll up for their contact info.)

GHF will roll out new information and resources about the Pathways program in the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Medicaid expansion is still the best option for Georgians

Estimates from the Georgia Department of Community Health suggest that 31,000-100,000 Georgians will gain coverage under the Pathways program. That means that Pathways will leave behind more than 300,000 Georgians who will remain uninsured.

Medicaid expansion is still the best choice for Georgia. It would cover more than 400,000 uninsured Georgians and cost much less per person. It would boost the health of Georgians and relieve the burden on rural hospitals, ensuring that their communities continue to have access to care. Medicaid expansion would close long-standing health gaps that unfairly diminish the health of Black and brown Georgians, while Pathways risks expanding such gaps.

Too many Georgians have been left without coverage for far too long. Our state leaders must choose the best way forward for our state. Medicaid expansion is the right choice.




GHF attended GPHA Conference last month

Two GHF staff¬†members¬†attended the¬†Georgia Public Health Association annual meeting and conference hosted at Jekyll Island last month.¬†This year‚Äôs theme was ‚ÄúCreating a Healthy Georgia: Conversations & Collaborations for Change.‚ÄĚ Hear from Knetta Adkins and Whitney Griggs¬†on their time at this conference:

“Attending¬†the¬†GPHA¬†conference was a great opportunity to network and learn from some of Georgia’s most committed public health workers,” said Knetta.¬†“It was good to¬†talk with public health professionals¬†about¬†the seismic shifts in access to health care coverage¬†during¬†the¬†Medicaid unwinding¬†in Georgia and the implications for Georgia’s public health system. Keeping families covered¬†is essential and supports public health’s aim to prevent illnesses¬†and build health¬†outside¬†of¬†the normal health system. Investing in the overall health of Georgians creates a state where everybody can live their healthiest lives and reach their full potential.”

“I attended the¬†GPHA conference with Knetta,” said Whitney Griggs.¬†“We¬†participated in a¬†session on identifying opportunities to engage in and strengthen public health advocacy. We also¬†connected with public health professionals from across the state,¬†who can help inform GHF’s current and future advocacy efforts.¬†I presented findings from¬†GHF’s¬†housing research project, which included a discussion on the intersection of housing and public health.”





















7 policy recommendations to improve housing (and health) for Georgians with intellectual & developmental disabilities (IDD) – read GHF’s new report!¬†

For Georgians with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), housing is an issue of health & well-being, independence, civil rights, & finances. Unfortunately for many, housing that meets their health needs and individual preferences is difficult to find. As a result, their health suffers and they face consequences like reduced independence and unaffordable health care bills.

Our new report details the housing issues faced by Georgians with IDD and their families, as well as actionable state policy and systems changes that will improve housing and housing supports for all Georgians, particularly those with IDD.

Read the report and¬†watch GHF’s virtual release event here¬†if you missed it.

GHF will soon begin our second phase of advocacy in support of healthy housing. Stay tuned to learn more and get involved!
















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. We now have a new way to submit your story!

Text in your story?¬†Now you can!¬†Text “MedEx” to “52886”

We welcome all stories, so don’t be shy! Share your story now! Write or record your story here. Story sharers may be paid for their time.



How Georgia Launching Its Own Health Insurance Marketplace Could Hurt Black Patients
Capitol B | June 7, 2023

Georgia ousts more than 1,500 from Medicaid: more expected
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | June 12, 2023


Communications Tool: #TipOfTheWeek Roundup
Public Health Communications Collaborative

Each week, the Public Health Communications Collaborative shares communications tips on social media tailored for public health professionals‚ÄĒranging from rapid response to media relations to emoji use on social media. To support your communications efforts, PHCC has created a quick roundup of actionable tips from our #TipOfTheWeek social media series to help strengthen clarity, inclusivity, and resonance in your public health messaging.