Peach Pulse Archive 2016
HEALTH CARE UPDATES
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.
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.
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 enrolled, consumers can access the care they need. Our work in this area, along with that of similar efforts in seventeen states, was recently evaluated by Mathematica. The evaluation focused on the activities and outcomes of the eighteen Consumer Voices for Coverage projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Learn more about the evaluation findings here.
COVER GEORGIA UPDATES
This month, members of the Cover Georgia Coalition met for a half-day meeting to discuss what advocates can do to make sure that Georgia closes its coverage gap in 2017. If your organization is interested in joining the coalition, reach out to Laura Colbert. If you are an individual advocate who’d like to join the movement here are three ways you can get involved:
- Share an infographic on social media about the coverage gap
- Sign the petition to close the coverage gap
The Warren City Club
July 19, 2016
6:30 – 8:30 PM
Health care advocates and friends – please join GHF for a book signing and conversation with Atlanta journalist Mike King, author of A Spirit 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. You can read more about his book here. We look forward to an evening of lively conversation about the role of safety net hospitals here in Georgia and throughout America. We will provide a light dinner and there will be a cash bar. This is a free event. RSVP here.
Please join us for our second annual Consumer Health Impact Awards! This event shines a spotlight on advocates, community leaders, and state policymakers working to improve health in Georgia through service and advocacy. RSVP for the event here.
We will be announcing 2016 awardees in the coming weeks – look out for that announcement!
IN THE NEWS
Some rates in Georgia insurance exchange could soar in 2017
Andy Miller, Georgia Health News
Ruling against Obamacare a win for GOP, but impact for Georgia on hold
Tamar Hallerman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution