1. Home
  2. >
  3. Gold Dome
  4. >
  5. Page 10

Tag: Gold Dome

Update on child-only policies

Earlier this year, Governor Deal signed into law House Bill 1166 to restore child-only health insurance plans to the Georgia marketplace. The legislation was sponsored by Representative Atwood and supported by a broad coalition of consumer health advocates, health care industry stakeholders, and legislators, including Georgians for a Healthy Future. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2013, and will make standalone insurance policies for children available through an open enrollment period in January or in the event of a qualifying event throughout the year. The Georgia Department of Insurance is currently preparing the draft regulation, after which there will be a public comment period with the final regulation expected in December.

 

Several states around the country have taken similar action to make these plans available for children, and earlier this month the Commonwealth Fund issued a report examining legislative and regulatory efforts around the country during 2010 and 2011 and found that, in states that had taken action during those years, child-only coverage is now available in nearly all of those states. Since Georgia’s legislation was passed in 2012 and has not yet gone into effect it was not included in the analysis; however, the authors interviewed officials and advocates in Georgia and noted that legislation had been signed into law in 2012. Kaiser Health News also reported on the story last week. That article is available here. The study is available here.

 

 


Tags:

Candlelight Vigil for the Uninsured

More than 26,000 Americans die every year because they lack health insurance. Right here in Georgia, an estimated 1,000+ people died in 2010 because they didn’t have health insurance, among the most in the nation.  People who are uninsured are less likely to have a usual source of care, often go without screenings and preventive care, and delay or forgo needed care. This tragic reality has persisted for too long. Please join our friends at HealthSTAT in a candlelight vigil on Wednesday, October 24th at 7pm on the steps of the Georgia state capitol in memory of those who have lost their lives because they could not afford or did not have access to health insurance. Then, let’s redirect our energy towards covering all Georgians.

 

 

 

 

 


Tags:

Governor Deal signs legislation restoring child-only health plans

Governor Deal signed HB 1166 (sponsored by Representative Atwood) into law on May 1st. The legislation requires insurance companies who sell policies in the individual health insurance market to also sell child-only plans during an open enrollment period. These plans had previously been available in Georgia, but insurance companies stopped writing new policies in response to a change in federal law that prohibited discrimination against children due to pre-existing conditions. HB 1166 drew widespread support and Georgians for a Healthy Future was proud to be a part of the coalition effort that ensured its passage.


Tags:

Georgia Legislative Update

The 2012 Legislative Session continues today as legislators meet for Day 27 of the 40-day Session. Crossover Day (Day 30), when a bill must pass at least one chamber to remain viable for the Session, will be March 7th. Here is what health care advocates are watching:

 

  • The House and Senate have both passed versions of the Amended FY 2012 Budget (HB 741); since there are minor differences, HB 741 now heads to conference committee. Notably, the Senate version added $1.2 million in the Department of Public Health budget for the Children 1st program to replace the loss of Supplemental TANF funds. This program provides screenings for newborns. Also in the Senate version, funds were added to the Department of Community Health budget to reflect projected need in Medicaid but there were also cuts to reflect the rounding down of co-payments to the nearest dollar. Meanwhile, work continues on the FY 2013 budget. Click here for the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute’s analyses of the implications for the state’s health care agencies on the governor’s proposed 2013 budget recommendations.

 

  • HB 1166, sponsored by Representative Atwood, would restore child-only health insurance policies to Georgia’s individual market. Georgians for a Healthy Future, along with a range of child health advocacy groups, is in strong support of this measure to provide this option for families who need coverage for their kids. The bill is expected to be before the House Insurance Committee on Wednesday. You can learn more about this issue by downloading our fact sheet.

 

  • HB 801 and SB 418 were introduced by Representative Gardner and Senator Orrock, respectively, as companion bills to establish a health insurance exchange in Georgia. While leadership in the House and Senate have indicated that there will not be movement on an exchange this year, please thank Representative Gardner and Senator Orrock for their leadership on this important issue. You can learn more about how a Georgia exchange could work by downloading our issue brief here. All information from the Governor’s Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee, which met throughout the second half of 2011 to develop recommendations on this issue, is available here.

 

  • HB 1159, sponsored by Representative Pruett, is known as the New Parent Information Bill and would create a Joint Study Commission on Education for Parents with Newborn Children to determine how best to gather information, raise funds and create a comprehensive informational video.  The video would include but not be limited to information on the prevention of childhood obesity; how to prevent SIDS, shaken baby syndrome, and other forms of child abuse; how to prevent death and injury and additional information which would assist parents to raise safe and healthy children. The bill is expected to be before the House Health and Human Services Committee this week.

 

Don’t forget to download our Consumer Health Advocate’s Guide to the 2012 Georgia Legislative Session to help you navigate the Capitol! A limited number of hard copy guides are available. Please contact us if you’d like a copy.

 

 

 


Tags:

Health Insurance Exchange Stalls in Georgia

Georgia lags other states in progress towards establishing a health insurance exchange as authorized by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), despite the fact that Georgia stands to experience one of the largest drops in the uninsured as a result of the ACA reforms, according to an analysis by the Urban Institute. At our Health Care Unscrambled breakfast in January, a panel of Georgia policymakers discussed prospects for a health insurance exchange and indicated that exchange legislation would not move through the General Assembly in 2012. Nevertheless, Representative Pat Gardner has introduced HB 801 to establish a Georgia health insurance marketplace, or exchange. Please thank Representative Gardner for taking a stand on this important issue! For recent news articles on health insurance exchanges and Georgia, click here and here.


Tags:

Information for Action

Just in time for the 2012 Georgia Legislative Session, Georgians for a Healthy Future has a new resource for advocates: A Consumer Health Advocate’s Guide to the 2012 Georgia Legislative Session: Information for Action. Our legislative guide walks you through the legislative process; identifies the committees with jurisdiction over health care issues, which legislators sit on them, and how to contact them; provides contact information for a range of health care organizations, associations, and advocacy groups as well as key health care reporters; and provides other tools to help you be a strong and effective advocate. The guide is available here.

 

 


Tags:

GHF Announces 2012 Legislative & Policy Priorities

Georgians for a Healthy Future is a non-profit, non-partisan health policy and advocacy organization that addresses health care issues through a consumer lens. Our 2012 policy priorities were developed with broad input from community stakeholders. We will work collaboratively with our community partners to advance these priorities.

 

Maximize opportunities and benefits presented by the Affordable Care Act for Georgia health care consumers. Georgians for a Healthy Future will continue to monitor legislation and agency-level activity to implement the ACA and support Georgia laws and regulations that establish structures and systems that maximize benefits for consumers in this process.

 

Preserve consumer protections for Georgians in private health insurance plans. State laws and regulations provide a basic level of protections and benefits to consumers who buy private health insurance plans. These protections ensure that consumers who purchase these plans obtain meaningful health insurance that covers essential medical services in the event they get sick. Georgians for a Healthy Future will continue to support efforts to preserve and strengthen consumer protections and oppose legislation that would place consumer protections at risk.

 

Modernize Medicaid and PeachCare by utilizing best practices to improve coverage rates, access to care, and health outcomes. The Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids programs provide health insurance for our state’s most vulnerable citizens. The Georgia Department of Community Health is currently weighing options to redesign these programs. Georgians for a Healthy Future will monitor this process as well as legislative activity and will support policy changes that facilitate continuous coverage and enrollment, preserve and expand access to care, and improve health outcomes. Georgians for a Healthy Future will oppose policy changes that restrict access to vital health care services for Medicaid and PeachCare beneficiaries.

 

Establish a consumer-friendly health insurance exchange. A well-designed health insurance exchange can add transparency to the health insurance marketplace, spur competition and choice, help make insurance more affordable and available, and give consumers the information they need to make optimal purchasing decisions. Georgians for a Healthy Future will support a health insurance exchange compatible with the American Health Benefit Exchanges (AHBE) authorized by the Affordable Care Act that provides consumers with the appropriate information, tools, and navigation assistance to make optimal purchasing decisions and a governance structure that can effectively and transparently oversee the exchange without conflicts of interest.

 

Restore child-only health insurance plans to the private health insurance market. Due to a recent change in federal law, insurance carriers in the individual market can no longer deny coverage to a child with a pre-existing condition. Even though insurers may still medically underwrite these policies, insurance carriers in Georgia stopped issuing these policies altogether. Georgians for a Healthy Future will support legislation to restore these plans to Georgia’s health insurance marketplace.

 

Strengthen Georgia’s public health system. Our public health system plays a critical role by vaccinating children, monitoring and preventing epidemics, ensuring safe food and water, and providing both clinical and community-based preventive services. Despite an increasing need for services, Georgia’s per capita public health spending is among the lowest in the nation. The establishment in 2011 of the new Department of Public Health presents an opportunity to rebuild our public health infrastructure and to place renewed focus on the critical role of public health. Georgians for a Healthy Future supports a robust, adequately funded public health system to meet the critical needs of our state.

 

Increase the tobacco tax. The current funding environment demands evidence-based policy solutions that both advance the health of our state and generate needed revenue. In recent years, even the most basic, vital, and cost-effective programs have been subject to deep budget cuts. Georgians for a Healthy Future opposes further cuts to these vital programs and supports budget solutions such as a substantial increase in the state’s tobacco tax. Tobacco taxes are a proven strategy with the dual benefit of bringing in additional state revenue and increasing the health of Georgians by reducing adult and youth smoking.

 


Tags:

AARP 2011 State Legislative Wrap-Up

 

 

“My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have worked so hard to make this happen- I’ve always been an AARP fan, but you’ve taken my loyalty to a new level.”

Mignon Fleishel sent this message to AARP after Senate Bill 178 passed the Georgia Senate on March 14th. Mignon’s mother lives in an assisted living facility in Cobb County but had been told she had to move to a nursing home because she needs assistance getting in her wheelchair. SB 178 would create  licensure category for assisted living that would give Georgians the choice to age in place as long as their needs are being met. Passage of this legislation was a top priority for AARP; staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to get this legislation through all of the hurdles to passage. The Governor is expected to sign the legislation into law soon. Now, Mignon and the hundreds of Georgia caregivers facing this can be happy that their loved ones can age in place, controlling their destiny in their final years.

(more…)


Tags:

Health Legislation in Committee This Week

Here’s what’s on the agenda for the health care committees in the Georgia General Assembly this week. As these are all subject to change, check the General Assembly’s website for the most up-to-date information.

 

 

Monday

9am Senate HHS Health Care Delivery Subcommittee Meeting

125 CAP

SB 76

SB 93

SB 178

 

10am House Insurance Admin/Licensing Subcommittee Meeting

415 CLOB

HB 476

HB 380

 

2pm Senate HHS Full Committee Meeting

450 CAP

SB 22

 

3:30pm House HHS Full Committee Meeting

606 CLOB

HB 324, Neal

HB 405

HB 434

 

Tuesday

8:30am, Senate HHS Subcommittee

125 CAP

 

2pm or upon adjournment, House Health Appropriations Subcommittee Meeting

341 CAP

FY 2012 Budget

 

3pm, Senate Insurance & Labor Committee

450 CAP

 

4pm, House Insurance Committee

406 CLOB

HB 298

HB 370

HB 371

HB 380

HB 413

HB 476

 

Wednesday

10am, Senate HHS

450 CAP

 

Thursday

1pm, Senate Insurance

MEZZ

 

 


Tags:

Bills We’re Watching: HB 476

By Cindy Zeldin

 

On Friday, House Bill 476, which would establish the Georgia Health Exchange Authority, was introduced. The legislation sets up a governance structure for a state health insurance exchange and creates an advisory committee to advise the governing board on the design, implementation, and operation of the exchange and is tasked with providing a report containing specific recommendations based on a set of guiding principles delineated in the bill in December 2011. This legislation is a constructive first step towards creating a more competitive, consumer-friendly, and affordable health insurance marketplace in Georgia. The bill is on the agenda in the House Insurance Committee on Tuesday, March 8th at 4pm in Room 406 CLOB.

 


Tags:

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive updates from GHF!
Join

GHF In The News

Nov 16, 2021
Medicaid workaround proposal would sidestep state Republican leaders

“It will do monumental things for people who get covered and can go to the doctor and get prescriptions filled and have some peace of mind that they can take…

Archive

Peach Pulse Archive