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.

2020

Inside Georgia’s latest attempt to change how people access Obamacare

  • by Christopher Booker, Sam Weber, and Connie Kargbo
  • PBS
The transition from one system to another is going to be difficult, even for consumers who know it’s happening. We know that not all consumers will know that this change is taking place. So some of those consumers are going to need to catch up. Some of them may not get through the process at all. It’s much more likely that consumers are going to become uninsured in this process rather than having more consumers brought into the private insurance system.
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Kemp’s plan to block the federal ACA insurance exchange under fire

  • by Ariel Hart
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future, which supports the exchange, said the plan leaves those with mental or behavioral health issues “exposed and in danger” at a time when the pandemic and opioid abuse are increasing the need for coverage.

“Insurers and web-brokers, who would be in charge of helping Georgians find health insurance, have developed a track record of steering consumers toward substandard plans that expose them to catastrophic costs if they get sick…most substandard plans do not cover mental health services, and many do not offer substance use or prescription drug benefits,” the group said.

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Insurance exchange prices to see small increases

  • by Andy Miller
  • Albany Herald

Laura Colbert of consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future said Monday that even a 6.5 percent increase could prove difficult to afford for families who don’t qualify for subsidies in the exchange.

“It’s especially unfortunate that Georgia’s proposed reinsurance program won’t be in place for 2021 because that would have lowered premiums for many if not all marketplace plans,” Colbert said. “Not only would that have protected insured Georgians from higher premiums during a difficult health and economic crisis., but it also may have attracted new consumers to the marketplace.”

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Prices on Georgia’s insurance exchange shaping up to stay fairly stable

  • by Andy Miller, Georgia Health News
  • Gwinnett Daily Post

Laura Colbert of consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future said Monday that even a 6.5 percent increase could prove difficult to afford for families who don’t qualify for subsidies in the exchange.

“It’s especially unfortunate that Georgia’s proposed reinsurance program won’t be in place for 2021 because that would have lowered premiums for many if not all marketplace plans,” Colbert said. “Not only would that have protected insured Georgians from higher premiums during a difficult health and economic crisis., but it also may have attracted new consumers to the marketplace.”

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Kemp Signs Maternal Mortality, Surprise Billing Legislation Into Law

  • by Emma Hurt
  • WABE

“In total, the bill will cover about 2.5 million Georgians, we estimate,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, who lobbied to get the bill through for years. “Those are really the folks who have individual health plans on the ACA, small group plans through their jobs, that kind of health insurance.” She credited Kemp and Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan’s support in helping get it “across the finish line.”

“This will be a huge financial gain for many Georgia families,” she said, but pointed out federal reform is needed to cover large group health insurance plans.

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Georgia officials put insurance waiver plan on hold

  • by Andy Miller
  • Albany Herald

“The delay of Georgia’s proposed reinsurance program is a disappointment for Georgia consumers who are looking forward to premium relief,’’ said Laura Colbert of the consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future. “However, the other changes made to the governor’s plan will reduce the harmful impacts that consumers would have felt under the original proposal.

“While we still have concerns about the transition from an unbiased, neutral enrollment platform like healthcare.gov to for-profit, decentralized insurers and web brokers, we are encouraged by the move to preserve the financial help and comprehensive health coverage provided to consumers by the Affordable Care Act.”

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State Revises Insurance Waiver Request And Pushes Timetable Back

  • by Andy Miller, Georgia Health News
  • WABE

“The delay of Georgia’s proposed reinsurance program is a disappointment for Georgia consumers who are looking forward to premium relief,’’ said Laura Colbert of the consumer advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future.

“However, the other changes made to the governor’s plan will reduce the harmful impacts that consumers would have felt under the original proposal,” she said. “While we still have concerns about the transition from an unbiased, neutral enrollment platform like healthcare.gov to for-profit, decentralized insurers and web brokers, we are encouraged by the move to preserve the financial help and comprehensive health coverage provided to consumers by the Affordable Care Act.”

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National scorecard shows Georgia improving on COVID-19 fight

  • by Andy Miller, Georgia Health News
  • Gwinnett Daily Post

Public Heath’s COVID tracking website is less user-friendly than the reopening scorecard, said Laura Colbert of the consumer group Georgians for a Healthy Future.

But the state site may be better to identify hot spots or outbreaks. In general, Colbert said, all sources of COVID data need to be better at tracking infections and deaths in nursing homes.
Disparities in testing have also raised some questions in Georgia.

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Study: More than 1.4 million Georgians lost health insurance

  • by Riley Bunch
  • Valdosta Daily Times

Laura Colbert, executive director of the advocacy group Georgians for a Healthy Future, said the mass health insurance loss “spotlights a real weakness in our health system.”

“On the other hand, the vast majority of those Georgians are now eligible for coverage through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act marketplace,” Colbert said in a statement. “These health insurance programs are the backstops when massive uncertainty and upheaval hit our health and employment systems, keeping families safe, healthy and financially whole.”

If the state chose to further expand Medicaid, she said, Georgia’s “safety net would be a lot more complete.”

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Commenters pan Kemp’s Medicaid expansion plan as too limited

  • by Jill Nolin
  • Georgia Recorder

“The comments submitted paint a really compelling picture about the inadequacy of the Pathways to coverage plan,” Laura Colbert, executive director for Georgians for a Healthy Future, said during a call Wednesday with reporters.

“Repeatedly, commenters described how their loved ones would be left out, how Georgians would struggle to get or maintain coverage and how inequities across race, geography and health status would be maintained or exacerbated under this plan,” Colbert said.

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