(PHOTO Aleksandr Rybalko/Dreamstime/TNS)
Photo: Aleksandr Rybalko
Photo: Aleksandr Rybalko

HAVE YOUR SAY on big Georgia health care waiver plans

There are a few days left for the public to let Gov. Brian Kemp and his staff know what you think of his health care plans. At stake are the biggest changes proposed for Georgia health care in years.

Public in-person meetings to collect comments ended Friday morning. But those who didn’t make it there can still see the same materials online and file a comment by mail or online.

The governor and his staff “welcome public feedback on Georgia Pathways and Georgia Access (the two sets of proposals) to ensure Georgians have improved access to affordable, quality health care,” said a spokesman, Cody Hall. He said they’d received both positive and negative comments so far.

Kemp is proposing two sets of proposals that could make changes in Georgia health care. They’re called waivers because Kemp is asking the federal government to waive its standard rules in order to let the state tailor programs to its own desires.

The state must give the public an opportunity to comment on the ideas, and officials must address the comments. There are a couple of ways to put in your two cents before the deadline, Dec. 3. Here we’re laying out first some background information on the waivers, and then the ways to comment.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

The first of the two waivers would affect very poor people who don’t qualify for Medicaid. It’s called a 1115 waiver, and the Kemp administration is calling it “Georgia Pathways.”

The second waiver would help higher-income people who buy individual health insurance plans and make too much income to qualify for a good subsidy. It’s called a 1332 waiver, and Kemp’s team named it “Georgia Access.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a front-page story on the 1115 waiver Nov. 5. Here’s a link: Kemp’s Medicaid plan would cover thousands, but not most, of Georgia’s poor

The AJC published a front-page story on the 1332 waiver Nov. 1. The link: Kemp unveils proposals to overhaul Georgia individual health plans.

And this is the state’s web page on both waivers, which includes links to the actual waivers as well as a link to the comment page: https://medicaid.georgia.gov/patientsfirst.

Many analysts and advocates have posted their own opinions or research online. They include the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

HAVE YOUR SAY

By mail:

Send a letter, postmarked by Dec. 3, to these addresses:

  • To comment on the 1115 waiver, about Medicaid expansion:

Lavinia Luca

c/o Board of Community Health

P.O. Box 1966

Atlanta, GA 30301-1966

  • To comment on the 1332 waiver, about the private insurance market:

Ryan Loke

c/o The Office of the Governor

206 Washington St.

Suite 115, State Capitol

Atlanta, GA 30334

Online:

Go to the state’s website for the waivers, and there’s an online form to input your comment. The website address is https://medicaid.georgia.gov/patients-first-act-public-comment.

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