Peach Pulse: October 30, 2014

SBIRT: A Public Health Initiative


Yesterday, Georgians for a Healthy Future together with the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse unveiled our new initiative “Somebody Finally Asked Me…” at a benefit party held at the home of Iris and Bruce Feinberg.  This project aims to prevent and address youth substance use disorders through increased use of an evidence-based public health approach known as SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment).

To learn more about SBIRT, click here.

If you were unable to attend the event and would like to make a donation to help us reach our fundraising goal for this project, click here.

To watch a video about how alcohol and drug addiction impact the lives of youth and why we are committed to preventing addiction before it starts,click here.

Georgians for a Healthy Future awarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant

Georgians for a Healthy Future (GHF) is excited to announce that we have been awarded a Consumer Voices for Coverage grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest health philanthropy. Georgians for a Healthy Future will work in conjunction with Community Catalyst, who serves as the national program office for the Consumer Voices for Coverage program. As one of 18 state-based consumer health advocacy organizations around the country to receive a grant under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Consumer Voices for Coverage initiative, Georgians for a Healthy Future will develop and carry out collaborative and best-practice based strategies to maximize health insurance enrollment and retention, increase health insurance literacy, and create a more favorable policy environment for Georgia health care consumers. This project will have a particular emphasis on vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations in Georgia.

“We are honored to be part of the Consumer Voices for Coverage community and excited to deepen our work on behalf of Georgia health care consumers through this grant,” said Cindy Zeldin, Georgians for a Healthy Future’s Executive Director. “The health care policy landscape in Georgia and across the nation is rapidly changing, and it is critically important that there be a strong voice for consumers as these changes are determined and implemented.”

Georgians for a Healthy Future will draw upon our extensive experience and expertise in building and mobilizing coalitions as well as strong relationships with dozens of community organizations with deep reach across the state. These partnerships will be essential for outreach, dissemination of culturally and linguistically appropriate educational materials, and for soliciting feedback from diverse communities about the specific challenges faced regarding health insurance so that themes can be identified and shared with state policymakers and other key stakeholders and decision-makers.

About Georgians for a Healthy Future: Georgians for a Healthy Future’s mission is to build and mobilize a unified voice, vision, and leadership to achieve a healthy future for all Georgians.  Since our founding in 2008, Georgians for a Healthy Future has provided substantive health policy information to community leaders and advocates throughout the state, conducted seminars to equip consumers with the tools to become strong advocates, successfully injected the consumer perspective into dozens of health care stories in the media, and engaged with policymakers to spark policy change for a healthier Georgia.

It’s Time to Get Covered

lgbt_iconLearn about your options for health care coverage at the LGBT Health Insurance Town Hall

Join Georgia Equality, Georgians for a Healthy Future and The Health Initiative on Thursday, November 13th at 7 pm at the Rush Center.  Whether you still need health care coverage or you have coverage and want to re-enroll, you probably have questions about the upcoming open enrollment period.  Consumers, just like you, who got enrolled in health coverage last year will share their experiences and advice.  Navigators will be on hand to answer your questions about how to get covered or re-enrolled.  Bring your coverage questions, your uninsured friends and family, and your health coverage stories.  Open enrollment for 2015 coverage begins November 15, 2014 and ends February 15, 2015.

Bonus! We don’t know about you, but talking health care always works up our appetite – stop in at Radial Café before or afterwards to receive either 20% of your meal or order a special dinner for two for $30!

Click here to RSVP!

Not in Atlanta – We’ve still got you covered!

Because we know that many of you have questions about your coverage options and what to look for in a health insurance plan, we will also be live-streaming the town hall meeting. You’ll not only be able to watch the presentations in real time, you’ll also be able to ask your questions of our panelists and experts.

Click here to RSVP for the live-stream!

Children’s Health Insurance Program in Danger

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health insurance for children whose families make too much to allow the children to be covered by Medicaid, but make too little to be able to provide insurance for their children themselves.  CHIP covers 7.7 million children nationwide and 220,000 in Georgia.  Georgia’s CHIP program is called PeachCare for Kids (aka PeachCare).  . PeachCare is administered by the state of Georgia and jointly financed by the state and federal government.

PeachCare provides coverage for primary, preventive, specialty, dental and vision care for enrolled children ages 18 and under.  In addition, the insurance covers hospitalization, emergency room visits, prescription medications and mental health care.  PeachCare helps ensure the well-being of many Georgia children who may not be covered otherwise.

Future funding for the program is in danger.  Even though the program is legislated to exist until 2019, Congress has only approved funding for CHIP until next September.  By choosing not to approve federal dollars for CHIP in the 2016-2019 budgets, Congress would leave millions of children without access to health insurance and would shift the financial burden of covering our kids to the Georgia state budget.

Contact your Congressperson and ask them to make sure that Congress secures CHIP funding through 2019.

For more information visit Voices for Georgia’s Children and the Georgetown Center on Children and Families.

Medicaid Minute

Looking for more proof of why we should close the coverage gap?  A nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation analysis reported that states that have not expanded Medicaid and closed the coverage gap (like Georgia) will see a greater increase in spending than those that have.  In states like Georgia we can expect to see a 6.8 percent increase in tax dollars going to support Medicaid in fiscal year 2015.  That compares to a 4.4 percent rise in states that have closed the coverage gap already.

Nykita Navigates!

IMG_9114In the last edition of our Peach Pulse newsletter, we introduced you to Nykita Howell, Georgians for a Healthy Future’s new health insurance navigator. Nykita has hit the ground running in her new position in advance of health insurance open enrollment, which begins November 15!

If you are part of a community-based organization and would like to learn more about the types of health insurance options available to your community members and gain a better understanding of how to enroll in coverage, please feel free to contact Nykita to request a presentation. If you are an individual consumer in need of health insurance enrollment assistance, you can also contact Nykita to set up an appointment.

What does a navigator do, you might ask?

Health insurance navigators help consumers determine their eligibility for health insurance and for advanced premium tax credits through the Health Insurance Marketplace, provide enrollment assistance to consumers by helping them prepare their applications, and conduct outreach and education to raise awareness about the Marketplace. Navigators receive training and are certified at both the state and federal levels. They provide free and unbiased services to consumers.

Georgians for a Healthy Future is part of a consortium of 12 nonprofit organizations led by Seedco that received a federal navigator grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services. That funding supports this important service.

Events in the next two weeks:

  • Community Church of God and Christ (Atlanta, GA), November 15, 2014  1pm to 4pm  

Infographic of the Week!