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In The News

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.

2021

Majority of Georgians fear inability to pay for COVID treatment if infected, survey finds

  • by Jill Nolin
  • Georgia Recorder
“These gaps really make it so that Georgians can’t afford needed health care. If they receive health care, they’re left with medical debt, or they have to make really tough choices about their health versus other necessities,” Colbert said.
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Exchange enrollment hits record level in state

  • by Andy Miller
  • Georgia Health News

“This level of interest from Georgia individuals and families demonstrates that the marketplace is serving a valuable purpose and meeting its intended goal of keeping people covered in an affordable and comprehensive way, even while many deal with big life changes brought on by the pandemic,” said Laura Colbert of the consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future.

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Drug price transparency could return as top legislative issue

  • by Tim Darnell
  • Capitol Beat News Service

Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, agreed the issues of drug prices and transparency, coupled with the role PBMs play in the equation, will come up again in January.

“Discussions over PBMs have been going on for several years, and the legislature seems pretty fired up over continuing that effort,” Colbert said, explaining that PBMs were formed to help health insurers negotiate better deals with pharmaceutical manufacturers, and then pass those savings along to consumers.

“But realistically, it’s hard to know if those savings are actually being passed along,” Colbert said. “Pharmacies and health insurers are buying up PBMs, and it’s become especially hard to see where savings are being accumulated.”

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Georgia Eyes New Medicaid Contract. But How Is the State Managing Managed Care?

  • by Rebecca Grapevine and Andy Miller
  • Georgia Health News

“Medicaid members are best served when they have ready access to providers, insurers are eager to resolve their health care needs, and policymakers exercise strong oversight to ensure members’ health and well-being are prioritized over profits,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, a consumer advocacy group.

 

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Biden vaccine mandate for senior homes prompts warnings of ‘dire’ Georgia nurse shortage

  • by Ross Williams & Laura Olson
  • Georgia Recorder

Losing out on Medicare and Medicaid would likely make the economics unsustainable for many Georgia nursing homes, said Laura Colbert of the consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future.

“Medicaid is actually more important than Medicare to nursing homes, people may find that surprising, but Medicaid is the primary payer for about three quarters of Georgia’s nursing home stays, so withholding either bucket of funds would be pretty financially detrimental.”

She added, “Given the vulnerability of people who are in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, I think it’s a very appropriate incentive to get workers vaccinated.”

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Insurers flocking to offer coverage in 2022 exchange; this year’s still open

  • by Andy Miller
  • Georgia Health News

The increased competition shows more certainty from insurers about the stability and viability of the health insurance exchange, said Laura Colbert of the consumer group Georgians for a Healthy Future.

She noted that many uninsured Georgians are eligible for discounted exchange policies with premiums that are less than $50 and in some cases as low as zero, but that these people are often unaware that such deals are available.

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Georgia Medicaid insurers may have to repay $500 million

  • by Rebecca Grapevine
  • Georgia Health News

“Clawbacks mean people did not get health care,’’ said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, a consumer advocacy group.

“Essentially, people may have missed services they needed last year. That’s no fault of the [Medicaid insurers] because we saw that happen access the board regardless of the type of insurance.  The state still has a right to address that based on their contract,” added Colbert.

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Georgia defends insurance waiver as company interest builds

  • by Andy Miller
  • Georgia Health News

Laura Colbert of the consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future said Wednesday that “coverage under a waiver must be at least as affordable and comprehensive as under the ACA and cover a comparable number of people.’’

“The Trump administration, which approved Gov. Kemp’s waiver, interpreted these guardrails so loosely that it allowed for rollbacks of fundamental consumer protections,” she said. “The Biden administration has proposed re-interpreting this part of the law so that consumer protections are maintained. The federal government seems to be asking Georgia to prove that this plan meets these re-interpreted standards.”

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State Tangles With Feds In Medicaid Showdown

  • by Riley Bunch
  • Georgia Public Broadcasting

“The bottom line is people need health coverage as soon as possible, for as many people as possible,” Laura Colbert, executive director at Georgians for a Healthy Future. “I think that’s kind of the thrust of the conversation is how do we get that done — either at the state level or the federal level.”

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Warnock: ‘fix’ to help expand Medicaid in Georgia & other holdout states

  • by Jill Nolin
  • Georgia Recorder

“It’s definitely doable,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, a patient advocacy group. “The infrastructure of the federal government could be pretty easily adapted – in government terms – to this purpose.

“The conversations we’re hearing range a whole lot as far as what the federal fix to the coverage gap is,” she added.

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