Peach Pulse: May 23, 2013





Three in five Georgians support expanding Medicaid

It’s time for our state policymakers to catch up to their constituents. A new public opinion survey out this week from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies finds strong support within Georgia and across the Deep South for covering the uninsured through an expansion of Medicaid. Sixty-one percent of Georgians support expanding Medicaid, including forty-seven percent of self-identified conservatives. In addition, fifty-five percent of Georgia respondents said that the Medicaid program is important because they like knowing that it exists as a safety net to protect low-income people who can’t afford needed care. Four in ten said it was important because they or someone they know may need to rely on Medicaid benefits in the future. Georgians care about the health of their families and communities and want our policymakers to do the right thing. Please sign the Cover Georgia petition or distribute postcards throughout your network to ensure this majority support for Medicaid is heard. The full results of the survey are available here. Georgia Health News also covered the story here.

Connecting Georgians to coverage: update

Thank you to the dozens of community groups, nonprofit organizations, and health care stakeholders who responded to our survey about your plans to conduct consumer outreach and facilitate enrollment into the new health insurance options that will become available to many uninsured and underinsured Georgians later this year through the new health insurance exchange, or marketplace. Georgians for a Healthy Future will compile the results and share them as part of a resource document later this summer. In the meantime, here are three new resources that may be useful for you.

  • Families USA, a national consumer health advocacy organization, has developed an online resource center for navigators and others working on outreach and enrollment. You can visit the resource center here.
  • Consumers Union, the policy and action division of Consumer Reports, has developed a consumer-tested brochure to help consumers understand the new health insurance tax credits. The brochure is available here.
  •  The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has an updated FAQ available on the navigator program.  You can view that document here.
You can also find links and resources regarding health insurance navigators on the Georgians for a Healthy Future website here.

Commission on mandated benefits to meet on June 4th

The Special Advisory Commission on Mandated Insurance Benefits will hold its second meeting on June 4th from 10am to 3pm on the 9th floor of the Sloppy Floyd Building’s West Tower at 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA 30334. The commission was created through legislation passed in 2011 to advise the governor and the General Assembly on the social and financial impact of current and proposed mandated benefits and providers. The commission will hear testimony on three pieces of legislation at its June 4th meeting:

  • 10 – 12 p.m.    HB309 – Rep. Ben Harbin, (Ava’s Law)
  • 1 – 2p.m.        HB74 – Rep. Ed Lindsey, (Hearing Aid Coverage for Children Act)
  • 2 – 3p.m.        HB73 – Rep. Ed Lindsey, (Insurance; coverage for physician prescribed special dietary food)
If you are interested in testifying on any of these pieces of legislation at the commission’s June 4th meeting, please contact the office of House Insurance Committee Chair Richard Smith at 404-656-6831. Minutes from the March 12th meeting are available here.

The Uninsured in Georgia



“Georgia’s future deserves to be healthy”

“It’s the right thing to do.”

“Not only will it benefit Georgia’s economy, but it will provide insurance coverage for me; I am a low-income childless adult trying to jump start my career.”

“All Georgians should have access to affordable health coverage; Medicaid expansion delivers this!”

These are just a few of the hundreds of responses we’ve received when we asked the question, “Why do you support expanding Medicaid in Georgia?”   Over the past several months, hundreds of Georgia health care consumers have chosen to speak out about what expanding Medicaid would mean for them by filling out postcards addressed to Governor Deal. The postcards ask him to support the Medicaid expansion in Georgia. Additionally, more than 1,700 Georgians have signed the online petition. The Cover Georgia coalition is collecting these signatures and stories and will deliver them to Governor Deal prior to the start of the 2014 legislative session. Recent polling indicates that a solid majority of Georgians support expanding Medicaid, but we need your help to make sure their voices are heard!

Please join the efforts of the Cover Georgia coalition however you can. Here are some suggested ways to engage in this important issue:

  1. Take five minutes to call Governor Deal at 404-656-1776 and ask him to support expanding Medicaid in Georgia to people with incomes up to 138% FPL.  For talking points, click here.
  2. Sign and share the petition to Governor Deal.
  3. Share your story with us–are you one of the people who would gain coverage with expanded Medicaid? Do you know people who would? Have them share their story with us to help put a face on this important issue to policy makers and the media.
  4. Write an op-ed or letter to the editor.  Explaining how the expansion would affect different populations across the state is our best way to show how widespread the effects of the decision’s reach.  For help with media outreach, email Amanda Ptashkin.  For an excellent example of a compelling op-ed on the topic, click here.
  5. Join Cover Georgia and become an active participant in a statewide coalition dedicated to expanding coverage for Georgians.






All Hands on Deck! An Evening with Georgians for a Healthy Future

The Georgians for a Healthy Future board of directors invites you to join us for an evening of camaraderie, conversation, and celebration as we gear up for the next big phase of health reform implementation: connecting hundreds of thousands of uninsured Georgians to coverage. Since our founding in 2008, Georgians for a Healthy Future has worked with all of you to provide a strong voice for Georgia’s health care consumers in the policy decisions that impact their lives. Please join us on the evening of June 27th to celebrate our successes and prepare for the challenges ahead.

Thanks to national health reform, consumers have more options than they have ever had before. But covering Georgia’s uninsured will take all of us, working in concert, to move our state forward. We need all hands on deck!  Please join us for an entertaining evening of celebration and conversation about our collective strength and how Georgians for a Healthy Future will continue to work on behalf of all Georgians to help navigate the rough waters ahead.

WHEN:  Thursday, June 27, 2013, 6pm to 8pm
WHERE:  18th Floor Deck, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

Host committee opportunities available:

Captain ~ $1000 and up (6 tickets)
First Mate ~ $500 (4 tickets)
Cadet ~ $250 (2 tickets)

Please contact Cindy Zeldin to join the host committee or for more information about the event.

General tickets are $60.  To register, click here.

Webinar–The countdown to affordable health insurance: Time is running out!

In a few short months, millions of uninsured Americans will qualify for affordable healthcare coverage either through Medicaid, CHIP or tax subsidies. Citizens in every state will be affected by the ACA (Affordable Care Act) and its mandated updates to eligibility determination. Where will they go for answers?

Join GOVERNING magazine for a live webinar to hear from government and industry experts and learn:

  • How should states educate consumers?
  • What are the issues at hand?
  • What current resources can be used?
  • How can you ready your Agency for the changes ahead?

Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Time: 10:00 AM PDT | 1:00 PM EDT

Click here to register.