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This timeline chronicles major developments in Georgia's health care "waiver" plans. One plan would make changes to Georgia's Medicaid program and the other would change private health insurance for Georgians.

June 3, 2021
Private insurance

The US Departments of Health & Human Services and Treasury send a joint letter to Governor Kemp asking for a new analysis of the 1332 private insurance waiver and how separating from healthcare.gov will impact Georgia consumers. Georgia must respond by July 3, 2021.

March 11, 2021
Medicaid

President Biden signs into law the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319). The ARP includes a number of key provisions that strengthen both public and private health insurance coverage.

One of the ARP's provisions provides a significant, additional financial incentive for states like Georgia that have not expanded Medicaid to low-income adults. States that newly expand Medicaid receive an additional five percentage point increase in their regular federal Medicaid matching rate (FMAP) for two years, no matter when they newly expand. The new incentive would be a financial windfall for Georgia.

February 12, 2021
Medicaid

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) sends a letter to the Georgia Department of Community Health stating that it has “serious concerns’’ about the state’s 1115 Medicaid plan. CMS changes the status of the Medicaid waiver plan from "approved" to "pending".

2021

November 1, 2020
Private insurance 

CMS announces approval of Georgia’s Section 1332 private insurance waiver. The approved waiver includes both a reinsurance program and the Georgia Access model which would separate Georgia consumers from healthcare.gov.

Cover Georgia partners respond.

October 15, 2020
Medicaid 

CMS announces approval of Georgia’s "Pathways to Coverage" Medicaid section 1115 demonstration waiver.

Cover Georgia partners hold a press briefing in response to the announcement.

October 9, 2020
Private Insurance

Georgia made modest changes to the proposal following the federal public comment period. Georgia submits the revised 1332 private insurance waiver proposal to federal officials on October 9, 2020.

September 1, 2020
Private Insurance

The Brookings Institute and the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities release respective reports about the expected impacts of the revised 1332 waiver proposals on Georgia consumers.

August 17 to September 23, 2020
Private Insurance

Federal officials provide a 30-day public comment period for the revised 1332 private insurance waiver. The public comment period is extended for an additional week, to September 23rd, because of a technical problem that some commenters encountered when they submitted their comments.

Almost 1800 comments were submitted to federal officials during this time.

August 17, 2020
Private Insurance

Federal officials determine that Georgia’s revised 1332 private insurance proposal is complete.

July 9 to July 23, 2020
Private Insurance

Georgia provides only 15 days of public comment on the revised waiver application.

July 9 to July 23, 2020
Private Insurance

Georgia provides only 15 days of public comment on the revised waiver application.

July 9, 2020
Private Insurance

Governor Kemp announces revisions to the second part of his 1332 private insurance waiver plan. The updated proposal does not include some of the most harmful provisions included in the original draft but still proposes to eliminate healthcare.gov for Georgia consumers and move to a privatized, decentralized health insurance enrollment system.

May 12, 2020
Medicaid 

Georgians for a Healthy Future publishes an analysis of all comments submitted about the 1115 Medicaid waiver during the two comment periods. Nine out of 10 commenters opposed the Governor's proposal and many expressed their support for Medicaid expansion.

February 7, 2020
Medicaid 

The federal public comment period for the Medicaid 1115 waiver, Georgia Pathways, ends with 1720 comments submitted.

February 6, 2020
Private Insurance

Federal officials respond to Gov. Kemp’s letter with a decision that the reinsurance part of Georgia’s proposal is complete. The officials also request more information about the second part of the 1332 private insurance waiver plan (which would make changes to private health insurance plans and enrollment).

February 5, 2020
Private Insurance

Gov. Kemp sends a letter to CMS asking to pause the preliminary review of the "Georgia Access" part of the waiver. The letter requests that CMS continue their review of the reinsurance program only.

January 8, 2020
Medicaid 

Federal officials at CMS determine Georgia’s Medicaid waiver application is complete. The federal public comment period begins during which any interested person or group can provide comments about the plan.

2020

December 23, 2019
Private Insurance

Georgia submits the Georgia Access 1332 State Relief and Empowerment Waiver to the Departments of Health & Human Services and Treasury.

December 23, 2019
Medicaid 

Georgia submits the Georgia Pathways 1115 Demonstration Waiver to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

December 7, 2019
Medicaid

State officials make very few changes to the Medicaid 1115 waiver after the submission of nearly 1,000 comments. Changes included modifications to work requirements to include part-time students.

November 4 to December 3, 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

Georgia begins accepting public comments about both proposed waiver plans. The state's public comment period lasted for 30 days, ending on December 3, 2019.

November 4, 2019
Medicaid 

Governor Kemp announces details of his proposed 1115 Medicaid waiver, called the Georgia Pathways plan. This plan would allow Georgians with incomes below the poverty line to enroll in coverage. Georgians would only be able to enroll if they can prove they are working, going to school, in a job training program, or volunteering at least 80 hours per month. The plan would also require poor adults to pay premiums, among other harmful provisions.

October 31, 2019
Private Insurance

Governor Kemp announces the specifics of his proposed 1332 private insurance waiver, called the Georgia Access plan. The plan consists of two parts:

  1. A reinsurance program to lower premiums; and
  2. A dramatic erosion of the ACA’s rules and structures, including provisions that cut ties with healthcare.gov; privatize insurance enrollment; cap the financial assistance available to low- and middle-income consumers; and erode fundamental consumer protections in private insurance.

June 3, 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

The state picks Deloitte Consulting as the winner of an almost $2 million consulting contract to develop health care "waivers" for Georgia’s Medicaid program and the private insurance market.

March 27, 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

Georgia’s Governor signs SB 106 into law. This legislation allows the state to pursue an 1115 waiver to make changes to Georgia’s Medicaid program that could include expanding Medicaid coverage to more poor adults and a 1332 state innovation waiver to make changes to private insurance in the state.

March 25, 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

After a long debate on the House floor, the Georgia House passes SB 106 with no changes largely along party lines.

March 21, 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

The House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care holds a hearing on SB 106. Several Cover Georgia coalition members testify about the need for changes in the bill. The bill passes out of committee with no changes.

March 21, 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

The House Special Committee on Access to Quality Health Care holds a hearing on SB 106, the Patients First Act. Several Cover Georgia coalition members testify and emphasize the need for changes in the bill. The bill passes out of committee with no changes and awaits a vote to move to the House floor.

February 26, 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

After a long debate on the Senate floor, the Georgia Senate passes SB 106 with no changes by a party-line vote.

February 20, 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

The Senate Health and Human Services (HHS) committee meets to hear testimony on and consider SB 106. Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson offers an amendment to the bill that would allow the governor to extend Medicaid coverage to people just above the poverty line, as intended by the ACA, but the amendment was not considered. The bill passes out of committee with no changes.

February 13, 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

Senator Blake Tillery introduces SB 106, the Patients First Act. The legislation allows Georgia’s Governor to:

  1. Pursue an 1115 Medicaid waiverthat may extend Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes up to the poverty line. (This falls short of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.)
  2. Pursue at least one 1332 Innovation waiver to make changes to private insurance in Georgia. The legislation does not limit what changes may be made within the waiver plan

February 7, 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

Governor Kemp announces his intent to seek two health care “waivers.” The 1115 Medicaid waiver allows states to make changes to their Medicaid programs, including expansions of coverage for state residents. The 1332 Innovation waiver allows states to make changes to private insurance by altering the Affordable Care Act’s rules.

January 2019
Medicaid   •   Private Insurance

Governor Kemp submits his first budget recommendations which includes $1 million for the Department of Community Health “to review and analyze Medicaid waiver options” for consideration by the Governor’s office. This waiver could include a pathway to health coverage for low-income Georgians.

2019