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Georgians for a Healthy Future is frequently cited in news articles about health care issues, ensuring the consumer perspective is heard. Read news stories featuring Georgians for a Healthy Future’s perspective below.

2024

Medicaid expansion gains momentum in holdout states

  • by Erin Durkin
  • National Journal
The idea of expanding Medicaid is gaining momentum in the last holdout states, with eyes on Mississippi as the next potential state to take up the policy. As of 2024, only 10 states have not expanded their Medicaid programs. North Carolina and South Dakota are the two newest states to provide Medicaid coverage to people earning no more than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The renewed interest comes at a time when states can now get a bump in federal dollars for two years if they adopt Medicaid expansion. The incentive was passed as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. Laura Colbert, the executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, said awareness of the program is low and it’s complicated to get enrolled. “We know about two-thirds of Georgians in this income bracket are in a working household so would presumably qualify, and yet we haven’t seen them enroll in it,” Colbert said. “We think a lot of that is because the enrollment process is difficult and it’s not working for the folks it’s supposedly meant for.”
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19 Million Americans Taken Off Medicaid—but Many Could Still Be Eligible

  • by Aleks Phillips
  • Newsweek

Over 19 million people are estimated to have been taken off of Medicaid after broader eligibility granted during the coronavirus pandemic expired—but many who were disenrolled may still be eligible for the health program.

Analysis of government data by health policy research organization KFF found that, as of March 26, around 20 percent of the total number of individuals enrolled on either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) had seen their coverage removed, while 36 percent still had renewals pending….

Deanna Williams, an enrollment assister at non-profit Georgians for a Healthy Future, told local news outlet WABE on Monday that many of the people she works with were finding out they had lost coverage during visits to the doctor or pharmacy.

“That means they may be without medication for a week or two, or sometimes a month, depending on how long this process is,” she said. Georgia has reportedly taken steps to notify people at risk of losing coverage, and those who are cut off have the ability to appeal.

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OVER 500K GEORGIANS STRIPPED OF HEALTHCARE COVERAGE AMID BUREAUCRATIC SNAFU

  • by Marc Washington
  • Hoodline

Over 500,000 individuals in Georgia have lost their Medicaid coverage as the state aggressively pursues Medicaid redetermination, leaving many citizens without crucial healthcare. This unwavering bureaucratic process has unfolded following an end to federal COVID-19 public health emergency regulations, which previously prevented the state from dropping beneficiaries. According to a report by WABE, Georgia is working through the monumental task of reassessing nearly 2.8 million adults and children enrolled in the program, demanding that all reapply to retain their health coverage.

The grind of paperwork and administrative requirements has proven a stumbling block for many. Deanna Williams, an enrollment assister with Georgians for a Healthy Future, expressed the surprise and hardship that her clients face when discovering their Medicaid coverage is no longer active. “It’s typically they’re finding out when they’re either going to a pharmacy or going to a doctor’s office and they’re having that visit,” Williams told WABE. The lapse in coverage has led to people being without medication for potentially weeks at a time.

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More than a half million people lose health coverage during Georgia’s Medicaid ‘unwinding’

  • by Jess Mador
  • WABE

Georgia has so far dropped hundreds of thousands of people from Medicaid, mostly for administrative reasons such as problems with renewal application paperwork.

The cutoffs are stacking up as the state continues reevaluating everyone’s Medicaid eligibility with coverage after the end of federal COVID-19 public health emergency rules last spring. The nationwide process is known as “Medicaid redetermination” or “Medicaid unwinding.”

Now, to stay covered, everyone in the program has to reapply. In Georgia, that’s nearly 2.8 million adults, as well as children with PeachCare for Kids.

“A lot of them are just not sure what that means,” said Deanna Williams, an enrollment assister at the nonprofit Georgians for a Healthy Future.

She said many of her clients are surprised to learn their coverage is suspended.

“It’s typically they’re finding out when they’re either going to a pharmacy or going to a doctor’s office and they’re having that visit,” she said.

“For them, that means they may be without medication for a week or two, or sometimes a month, depending on how long this process is. So it’s hard to get those calls. I try to take the extra step to see how we can help them during that process and waiting period. That’s how I try to help my clients through it.”

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Showdown on Medicaid expansion heats up as Georgia legislative session winds down

  • by Jess Mador
  • WABE

Democratic state lawmakers say they’ll continue fighting to expand Medicaid in Georgia after a majority Republican committee rejected the latest proposal for expansion with a week left in the General Assembly’s legislative session.

The vote followed almost two hours of Senate committee debate on a House bill, the Peach Care Plus Act of 2024…Laura Colbert, executive director at the nonpartisan policy group Georgians for a Healthy Future, spoke before the committee in favor of Peach Care Plus. “Unexpected medical situations can be a big hit, you know, for some of us we can handle an unexpected $500 or $800 medical bill, but these are folks making $20,000 a year. And so that’s a really big hit,” Colbert said.

 

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State Senate panel narrowly rejects Medicaid expansion

  • by Dave Williams
  • Capitol-Beat

ATLANTA – A plan by state Senate Democrats and some Republicans to fully expand Medicaid coverage in Georgia was shot down Thursday by the narrowest margin – a tie vote in a Senate committee.

Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon, working with Sen. Matt Brass, R-Newnan, brought a proposal to expand Georgia’s Medicaid program through a waiver the state would seek from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services…“It would be a massive reduction in how many uninsured Georgians we have,” added Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, a nonprofit that has long supported Medicaid expansion.

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Georgia’s Medicaid work requirements cost millions, despite low enrollment

  • by Andy Miller and Renuka Rayasam
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Pathways to Coverage program has had a rocky start, but state Republican leaders have put off considering a full Medicaid expansion.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan for a conservative alternative to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion has cost taxpayers at least $26 million so far, with more than 90% going toward administrative and consulting costs rather than medical care for low-income people…” Typically, in Medicaid, administrative costs range from 12% to 16% of overall program spending,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of the advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future, which supports full Medicaid expansion. “It’s reasonable to expect that at least 80% of costs of a public or private health insurance plan to go toward health care and services,” she said.

 

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GOP lawmakers ready to ease limits on hospital construction, set aside Medicaid expansion for now

  • by Jill Nolin
  • Georgia Recorder

A long-awaited health care proposal from House leaders would ease health care business regulations in some cases, but the measure is just as notable for what it does not do: expand Medicaid.

Instead, the bill calls for a new commission that would be tasked with advising the governor, lawmakers and the state agency that administers Georgia’s Medicaid program on issues related to the access and quality of health care available for the state’s high number of uninsured residents….“There is still time for lawmakers to act on this issue – rather than agree to study it – before Sine Die,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future. “Instead of spending another year for a committee to tell us what we already know, lawmakers should seize the momentum that has been built and put forward legislation that allows Georgia to close the coverage gap this year.”

 

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More than 550,000 people in Georgia removed from Medicaid so far in redetermination process, official says

  • by Jonathan Raymond
  • 11Alive

According to numbers provided Monday by Georgia Department of Human Services Sec. Candice Broce, about 1.7 million people still need their cases processed…While the state has yet to break down why more than half a million Georgians have had their status terminated, health care advocates like Laura Colbert believe it’s a combination of ineligibility and clerical reasons. “Some folks often aren’t getting the notices that they need to renew their coverage” said Colbert.

 

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CareSource Rural Access Advancement Program provides cash crutch for rural hospitals

  • by Abby Kousouris
  • Atlanta News First

Georgia ranks third in the nation for hospital closures. Since 2010, Georgians for a Healthy Future reports nine rural hospitals have closed in Georgia, leaving 26% of Georgians without critical services.

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