Peach Pulse: September 13, 2014

healthy kids logoCovering Kids: Health Insurance for the Whole Family 

New from GHF!

All kids need reliable access to quality health care.  Children need to see the doctor even when they are healthy:  shots for school, well-child visits, and dental care are all important for kids to grow up healthy and strong.  Their parents need coverage too to stay on track with regular screenings and preventive care, to access the health care system if they become sick, and to experience the financial peace of mind that comes with being covered. 

Thanks to new health insurance options available through the Marketplace, the uninsured rate among parents is dropping. Still, too many of Georgia’s low-income parents fall into what has become known as the “coverage gap,” meaning they don’t earn enough to qualify for subsidized private insurance and they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid because Georgia has so far declined to join the 27 states (and counting!) who have expanded Medicaid.

In an effort to provide accurate information to parents about the coverage options for themselves and their children, GHF has created a set of fact sheets about health insurance coverage for kids and parents in Georgia.  These fact sheets are intended to be a resource for individual consumers and for organizations who represent or provide services for Georgia families.  

Affordable Health Care for Your Children and For Uninsured Parents help parents understand the coverage options for themselves and their children. If you work with low- to moderate-income families through a charity care clinic, at a school or church, or in a community-based organization, you may want to provide these resources to the families you serve. 

Covering Kids paints a picture for policy makers and the media who want to better understand children’s health care coverage in Georgia.  If you work with policy makers or want to talk to your legislators about health care coverage for kids, this fact sheet will be a helpful resource.  

A fourth fact sheet serves as a reference for those who need to know the income limits for the Medicaid and PeachCare programs.

You can view and download these new fact sheets on the GHF website. If you would like hard copies to distribute to your members, clients, or community partners, please contact Laura Colbert, GHF’s Community Outreach Manager.

compassConnecting Georgians to Converage: GHF’s Navigator Program Will Again Assist During Open Enrollment!

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded health insurance navigator grants to 90 organizations in states with federally facilitated or partnership marketplaces. Health insurance navigators help consumers understand and compare health insurance options, enroll in coverage, determine eligibility for tax credits, and utilize new coverage once enrolled. Georgians for a Healthy Future is excited to announce that, for the second year in a row, we are part of a consortium of 12 nonprofit organizations, led by the national nonprofit organization Seedco, which received one of two grants for Georgia!

With the next open enrollment period just 58 days away, we are already getting ready. In the coming weeks Georgians for a Healthy Future will bring on a full-time health insurance navigator who will work closely with consortium partners to provide outreach, education, and enrollment assistance to Georgia individuals and families. More than 300,000 Georgia consumers signed up for coverage during last year’s open enrollment period, but hundreds of thousands more who are eligible for affordable coverage remain uninsured. Reaching these uninsured Georgians will require targeted outreach strategies and new partnerships with local community-based organizations throughout the state. Additionally, consumers who enrolled during the last open enrollment period will need assistance navigating re-enrollment and may have questions about how to understand and use their new coverage. Health insurance navigators played a critical role during the first open enrollment period and are poised to assist consumers again this fall, when the second open enrollment period begins.

Georgians for a Healthy Future is honored to participate in these efforts.

Click here to see a full list of organizations that have received funding through Seedco.

Stories That Cause Change: How You Can Make a Difference!

Did you recently sign up for health insurance for the first time? Were you locked out of the market before because you had a pre-existing condition? Was insurance too pricey for you in the past and did you finally find an affordable plan that meets your needs? Or maybe you tried to enroll in coverage and found out that you fell in the “coverage gap” and can’t gain eligibility for Medicaid until Georgia policymakers move forward with Medicaid expansion? Or perhaps you enrolled in coverage but have had difficulty accessing an in-network provider nearby? Whatever your health care story is, we want you to share it with us!

The public discussion around the Affordable Care Act is often about its politics. What the pundits miss is that each person’s experiences-whether it is the elation, relief, and sense of security that come with enrolling in health insurance for the first time or the frustration that comes from finding out you fall into the coverage gap–is important. Georgians for a Healthy Future believes that telling those stories is a powerful tool that can help bring about a better policy environment for health care consumers in Georgia. Over the next several months, GHF, along with other organizations within the Cover Georgia coalition, will collect these stories and share them across the state.

To do this, we need your help in two important ways:

  1. Volunteer!  Throughout open enrollment we will be talking to consumers throughout the state.  You can help us in this important effort by attending an event in your neighborhood and talking to consumers.  We will prepare you with supplies and materials, a how-to guide, and more.  If you would like to help out, please email our outreach manager, Laura Colbert.
  2. Share your story and encourage others to do the same. If you or someone you know has successfully enrolled in a health insurance plan through the marketplace, tell us about it.  If you fall in the coverage gap, let us know.  If you are able to access care that you couldn’t afford before, we want to hear about it.  Tell us your story by contacting our communications coordinator, Anna Cullen.

Together we can make a change.

Medicaid Minute

Medicaid Counter

Every day that Georgia does not close the coverage gap and expand Medicaid, federal dollars are lost.  To show just how much we are really losing, Pro Georgia has created a Georgia Medicaid Counter to track the dollars lost in real time.  Below is the code it embed it on your website.  Please use and share!

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