Peach Pulse: October 17, 2014

Navigators and the Consumer Experience


Georgians for a Healthy Future partnered with Seedco at a briefing in Atlanta on October 16 to present and discuss findings from a comprehensive evaluation of the impact of health insurance navigators on consumer experiences during the first open enrollment period. The evaluation was conducted by a team of researchers at the University of Georgia, and its key findings include:

  • Navigators succeeded in assisting consumers from diverse communities and in reaching those in need of affordable health services
  • Rates of achieving enrollment or application success with navigators differed by region, by demographics, and by consumer financial status
  • Navigator interpersonal communications, and especially follow-up, was the biggest factor in consumer satisfaction

As we gear up for the next open enrollment period, which begins on November 15, 2014, the findings from this report can inform the work of enrollment assistance personnel and community-based organizations in Georgia and across the country. Selected recommendations from the report include:

  • Continue partnering with community agencies that serve diverse populations
  • Publicize the navigator role and concrete ways to access free in-person assistance
  • Follow up with consumers after they receive in-person assistance

For a summary document highlighting and describing these and other key findings and recommendations, click here. To read the full study, click here.

Georgians for a Healthy Future Met the Press!

GHF’s Executive Director Cindy Zeldin met last week with the Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) Media Fellows and shared her perspective as a consumer health advocate with the group. The KFF Media Fellows are highly regarded health care journalists from major national and local publications who spent three days in Georgia discussing and learning about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other health policy issues in the state from local experts, advocates, academics, and practitioners. Georgians for a Healthy Future was honored to be a part of their agenda.

The fellows prepared for their visit to Georgia by reading KFF’s new “The Georgia Health Care Landscape.”  This document provides a comprehensive overview of Georgia’s population health, the implementation of the ACA in Georgia, and Georgia’s health care infrastructure.  It is an excellent primer for those who want to know more about Georgia’s health care landscape or who want to have key Georgia health care stats at your fingertips.  Some facts in particular stand out from the issue brief:

  • As of January 2014, 22% of uninsured Georgians were in the coverage gap, meaning they were ineligible for Medicaid because Georgia has not expanded its program and earned too little to qualify for premium subsidies for private coverage.
  • 87% of Georgians who enrolled in health coverage through the Marketplace received premium subsidies to purchase coverage.
  • Georgia has many Health Professional Shortage Areas and a high level of unmet need for care. As of August 2014, only 59% of the primary health care need in Georgia was being met. Even worse, only 45% of the need for mental health care services and 28% of the need for dental services were being met.
  • More than one in five non-elderly people in Georgia is uninsured, and high unemployment rates and poorer than average health care outcomes for many measures suggest a greater need for health coverage among many low-income Georgians.

Georgia Gives day is 26 days away!

We’re hoping for a big turnout for Georgia Gives Day on November 13th for Georgians for a Healthy Future (GHF), but there’s something you can do between now and then and it takes almost no time!  Take a picture, like the one below, and tell us why you support our work and quality access to health care.  Include the hashtags #GAGivesDay and #unselfie and tag us on Facebook or include our twitter handle @healthyfuturega to enter us to win $500 from GA Gives Day!  It’s a competition, so go to GA Gives Facebook page and vote for your favorite GHF submission!


Your support and participation doesn’t just support GHF but it supports accessible, quality and affordable health care for all Georgians.  Don’t forget to check back with us on November 13th to make a donation and show your support for health equity and for GHF!







GHF Welcomes New Staff: Health Insurance Navigator Nykita Howell

IMG_9114Georgians for a Healthy Future is excited to welcome Nykita Howell, our new Health Insurance Navigator, who joined us this week!  In this role, Nykita provides Marketplace enrollment assistance to Georgia health care consumers. Prior to joining Georgians for a Healthy Future, Nykita worked in the fields of clinical and community based research and as a navigator for the first open enrollment period of the national Health Insurance Exchange. Her research efforts have been on studies focused on retention strategies for an NIH-funded cohort based at Umass Medical School, and a church-based diabetes project housed at Mercer University. Her work as a navigator prior to joining Georgians for a Healthy Future included building community partnerships and educating consumers over a seven county area. She holds an MPH from Mercer University School of Medicine and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. Prior to her graduate studies, Nykita received her B.S. in Biology from Clark Atlanta University, in Atlanta, GA.  If you or anyone you know needs assistance navigating the health care system, please contact Nykita at or 404-567-5016.  Remember, open enrollment begins Nov. 15th—just one month away!

Medicaid Minute: 60% Support Closing the Coverage Gap!

A new report on consumers’ experiences and views on health care found that 60% of Georgians disapprove of the state’s decision not to expand Medicaid, which includes 43% who strongly disapprove.  Over 90% of Georgians think Medicaid is important – and we agree!  It’s time to close the coverage gap and provide a pathway to coverage for all Georgians. Follow @healthyfuturega on Twitter to stay up-to-date about our efforts to #coverga.

Infographic of the Week

From our partners at Enroll America!










Join us for a benefit party!

Benefit Party1

Please join Georgians for a Healthy Future (GHF) and the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse on October 29 from 6 to 8 PM for our SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) Benefit Party to launch our new public advocacy campaign – Somebody finally asked me! The project seeks to prevent youth substance use disorders through the implementation of universal screening.  In addition to launching our SBIRT project, we have been challenged to raise $30,000 in Georgia to help support this work—a big opportunity to leverage the national dollars coming into Georgia through the Hilton Foundation.  We hope you will join us and make a gift that is meaningful to you as we work together towards this goal.  To learn more about this project click here.  To RSVP now, click here.

GHF Executive Director is honored by the League of Women Voters

Georgians for a Healthy Future’s Executive Director Cindy Zeldin was honored last week by the League of Women Voters with an Empowerment Award at their annual lunch.  GHF is so proud of Cindy’s dedication to health advocacy throughout the last five years!

cindy award

john lewis