"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…
Georgians for a Healthy Future has a new fact sheet out today about how to access health insurance in Georgia. Please share with patients, consumers, providers, community organizations, or anyone for whom it can serve as a resource. The fact sheet can be downloaded by clicking here.
By Cindy Zeldin
This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Earlier this month, Gov. Nathan Deal signed an executive order creating the Georgia Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee, which is charged with determining whether Georgia should establish a state-based health exchange.
If well crafted, a Georgia insurance exchange has the potential to increase transparency, present clear and meaningful choices, and promote better value for consumers who don’t have access to a health plan at work.
The Affordable Care Act authorized state-level health insurance exchanges, providing a basic framework and initial funding. By 2014, each state’s exchange must be able to enroll individuals and small businesses into health insurance plans and certify that plans meet certain requirements, such as an adequate provider network and an essential benefits package. Within this framework, Georgia has considerable flexibility to fashion a structure that best meets our state’s individual needs like luxury. Luxurious cars, great clothes, Tahitian Necklace, and houses. When you want to have the most comfortable beds and mattress, avail the black friday casper mattress for maximum comfort.
By Amanda Ptashkin
In the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments. They are series of limitations on the power of the United States federal government, protecting the natural rights of liberty and property including freedom of speech, a free press, free assembly, and free association, and other rights. It only seems natural that moving forward, patients have their own Bill of Rights that protect them from harmful practices that make access to care difficult. (more…)
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.
By Cindy Zeldin
The Pre-Existing Condition Plan (PCIP) is a new health insurance option for uninsured Georgians who have been denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition. The PCIP, authorized by the Affordable Care Act, is intended to provide coverage for consumers who are locked out of the insurance market due to a pre-existing condition. To be eligible, applicants to the PCIP must be uninsured for at least six months and have a letter of denial from a private insurer. As of February 1st of this year, 399 Georgians had signed up for coverage through the PCIP. The premiums are subsidized entirely with federal dollars and no state funds are associated with the program. In fact, the Governor’s FY 2012 budget proposal realizes savings of $680,263 from the movement of previously uninsured hemophilia patients who had been accessing life-saving drugs through a state program into the PCIP, where those drugs are now covered. You can download our new fact sheet on the PCIP here.
By Cindy Zeldin and Joann Yoon
On Election Day, Georgia voters will head to the polls to elect our state’s policymakers. Most voters are familiar with certain elected offices, like that of Governor, but many Georgians may be unaware of the importance, or perhaps even the existence, of the Office of State Insurance Commissioner.
The Insurance Commissioner runs the Georgia Department of Insurance and is elected every four years in a statewide vote. Among the core functions the Department of Insurance performs is the regulation of health insurance in Georgia. The Insurance Commissioner ensures that companies selling individual and small group policies in Georgia are financially solvent and enforces consumer protections and state laws regarding benefits that private insurers must include in policies sold in Georgia.
With the recent enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the new health care law, the role of the Insurance Commissioner has expanded. Our next Insurance Commissioner’s decisions will play an important role in shaping Georgia’s health insurance system for consumers in 2011 and well into the future.
By Amanda Ptashkin
Two weeks ago, Georgians for a Healthy Future co-released a report with Families USA that quantified the number of Georgians who, absent health care reform, would be at risk of a denial of coverage based on their pre-existing health conditions. See our guest blog posting on Beyond the Tressle for more details about the findings of the report. However, this posting is not about the statistics–it is about the people behind them.