1. Home
  2. >
  3. News & Media
  4. >
  5. In The News
  6. >
  7. Page 4

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.

2023

Nearly 100,000 low-income Georgians lost Medicaid health coverage last month

  • by Jill Nolin
  • Georgia Recorder
“These disenrolled individuals are likely children and parents in very low-income households, those living in unstable housing, and children who move between parents, grandparents, and other family members for care,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, which is a nonprofit patient advocacy group. “It is very likely that the majority of these kids are still eligible for Medicaid coverage but may not find out until they visit the doctor, try to fill a prescription, or have an emergency,” Colbert said. There was also a notable decline last month in the rate of automatic renewals, which are done with data the state already has access to – like payroll or unemployment data – and does not require the Medicaid enrollee to do anything. The rate went from nearly 49% in May to about 23% last month. “This data includes some very troubling signs for Georgia families,” Colbert said of the monthly data released Wednesday. “The combination of low automatic renewals and very high disenrollments means that eligible kids and families are losing their Medicaid coverage unnecessarily.”
See the article for the full details

Your Medicaid and PeachCare Kids eligibility may have changed

  • by Mackenzie Petrie
  • WALB News

“There will be far fewer uninsured folks as a result of this Medicaid renewal process in the states with Medicaid expansion,” said Laura Colbert, Executive Director of Georgians for a Healthy Future. “Georgia is not one of those, so we will see very large coverage losses.”

See the article for the full details

Georgia takes on health insurance market under new law

  • WABE

The state market will be different than what Kemp originally planned. He wanted to put insurance deals in the hands of private brokers who could sell policies with the insurance package required by the Affordable Care Act as well as policies with lower benefits. Those measures might have been cheaper, but Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future, said they would have been worse for consumers.

“That really would have taken Georgia back to the bad old days where insurers really gave consumers a head start and it was incredibly difficult to compare plans,” Colbert said, calling Kemp’s original plan a “non-marketplace.”

See the article for the full details

Why Georgia’s Medicaid work requirements are a crucial test case

  • by Nathaniel Weixel
  • The Hill

“What we know is that in Georgia, more than 400,000 Georgians would be covered if the state expanded Medicaid,” said Laura Colbert, director at Georgians for a Healthy Future.

See the article for the full details

Limited Medicaid expansion covering low-income Georgians starts July 1

  • by Jill Nolin
  • The Current GA

“The reason that there’s such a gap between those who will gain coverage and those who are potentially eligible is because this program really overloads people with paperwork,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Health Future.

“It is a paperwork requirement rather than a work and community engagement requirement,” she said.

See the article for the full details

Limited Georgia Medicaid expansion launches this weekend

  • by Dave Williams
  • Capitol Beat News Service

“Any program that doesn’t cover all 400,000 to 450,000 [uninsured] Georgians falls short of what Georgia needs,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Healthy Future.

See the article for the full details

Limited Medicaid expansion covering low-income Georgians begins in July

  • by Jill Nolin
  • Georgia Recorder

“The reason that there’s such a gap between those who will gain coverage and those who are potentially eligible is because this program really overloads people with paperwork,” said Laura Colbert, executive director of Georgians for a Health Future.

“It is a paperwork requirement rather than a work and community engagement requirement,” she said.

See the article for the full details

Georgia work requirement health insurance set to launch this week

  • by Jess Mador
  • WABE

“A lot of that will depend on how easy it is for folks to submit their proof of qualifying activities or proof of exemption,” Whitney Griggs, senior policy manager for the group Georgians for a Healthy Future, said in an emailed statement.

See the article for the full details

Georgia ousts more than 1,000 from Medicaid: more expected

  • by Ariel Hart
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

An advocate for Medicaid coverage of the poor, Laura Colbert, said she was not too concerned about DCH being behind in completing case files. As long as a case review hasn’t been completed, she reasoned, that person will just keep getting coverage, so it’s not an emergency.

What Colbert is concerned about is the unanswered questions in the numbers: What is going on with the thousands of cases that haven’t been reviewed and will large numbers of them also be disenrolled for not responding?

“I think that’s pretty important,” Colbert said.

See the article for the full details

How Georgia Launching Its Own Health Insurance Marketplace Could Hurt Black Patients

  • by Kenya Hunter
  • Capitol B Atlanta

Deanna Williams, the central Georgia insurance navigator for Georgians For A Healthy Future, says when she’s out in the community helping people enroll for affordable coverage, consumers are simply struggling to navigate the website. With two new state-based initiatives happening during Medicaid unwinding, she says more education will have to be offered by insurance navigators.

“When trying to enroll on their own, they’re struggling with navigating the system on HealthCare.gov, and also we’re trying to use the filters that cater to the coverage they may need on Healthcare.gov,” Williams said. “With us launching the state-based marketplace, it will be hard for a lot of people to navigate because we’re going to have people who are losing coverage who may not know where their next step is going to be.”

Black Georgians are already uninsured at a high rate. According to Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2021 30.1% of the uninsured under 65 years old in Georgia were Black. That is complicated because more than 40% of those in the state’s Medicaid “coverage gap” are Black, meaning they’re too poor to qualify for the ACA marketplace assistance.

The state sent a blueprint to the CMS that says they’ll have a program for insurance navigators like Williams to help with their outreach and enrollment efforts. It’s unclear how much money will be available, but the state says a previous plan to exit HealthCare.gov had a “robust” outreach program.

Whitney Griggs, senior health policy analyst at Georgians For A Healthy Future, says that an overall wariness of the rapid changes could increase already high uninsured rates for Georgians of color.

“We’ve learned through the ACA that the only way to reach people and get them enrolled is to have trusted messengers to be in the community, to really almost embed themselves,” she said. “If the state doesn’t properly fund navigators and certified application counselors, that’s where there’s a concern that people could fall through the cracks because they’re not getting this community outreach.”

See the article for the full details