Patients First Act Timeline

Patients First Act Timeline

This timeline chronicles major developments in Georgia’s Patients First Act waivers, including the 1115 waiver known as Georgia Pathways and the 1332 waiver known as Georgia Access. The timeline will be periodically updated as new developments arise.

February 7, 2020

February 7, 2020

February 7, 2020 – The federal public comment period for Georgia’s 1115 waiver, Georgia Pathways, ends with 1720 comments submitted.

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February 6, 2020

February 6, 2020

February 6, 2020 – Federal officials respond to Gov. Kemp’s letter. Federal officials determine that the reinsurance part of Georgia’s proposal is complete. The officials also request more information about the second part of Georgia’s proposal to make changes to private health insurance plans and enrollment.

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February 5, 2020

February 5, 2020

February 5, 2020 –Gov. Kemp sends a letter to CMS requesting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Treasury pause their preliminary review of Phase II.

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January 8, 2020

January 8, 2020

January 8, 2020 – Federal officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services determine Georgia’s application is complete. The  federal public comment period begins during which any interested party or stakeholder group could provide comments about the plan.

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December 23, 2019

December 23, 2019

December 23, 2019 – Georgia submits the Georgia Pathways 1115 Demonstration Waiver and the Georgia Access 1332 State Relief and Empowerment Waiver to the federal government.

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December 23, 2019

December 23, 2019

December 23, 2019 – Georgia submits the Georgia Access 1332 State Relief and Empowerment Waiver to the federal government.

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December 20, 2019

December 20, 2019

December 20, 2019 – State officials make minimal changes to Georgia Pathways after the submission of nearly 1,000 comments. Changes included modifications to work requirements to include part-time students.

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December 3, 2019

December 3, 2019

December 3, 2019 – The state public comment period for Georgia’s 1115 waiver closes with 869 comments submitted.

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December 3, 2019

December 3, 2019

December 3, 2019 – The state public comment period for Georgia’s 1115 waiver closes with 946 comments submitted.

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November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019 – Governor Kemp announces details of 1115 waiver, Georgia Pathways plan. The plan would allow Georgians with incomes below the poverty line to enroll in coverage. Coverage would also come with certain requirements including work requirements (at least 80 hours of work, school, training, or volunteering per month).

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November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019 – The 30-day public comment period begins during which any interested Georgian or stakeholder group could provide written, or in some cases oral, comments about the plan.

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November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019

November 4, 2019 – Georgia begins accepting state public comments for a 30-day period on the Patients First Act Waiver Demonstrations.

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October 31, 2019

October 31, 2019

October 31, 2019 – Governor Kemp releases details of 1332 waiver, the Georgia Access plan. The plan consists of two parts: A reinsurance program to lower premiums; and A dramatic erosion of the ACA’s rules and structures, including provisions that privatize insurance enrollment; cap the financial assistance available to low- and middle-income consumers; and erode consumer protections in private insurance

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June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019 – The state selects Deloitte Consulting to fulfill the $2 million consulting contract to develop the two health care waiver plans.

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June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019

June 3, 2019 – The state picked 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.

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March 27, 2019

March 27, 2019

March 27, 2019 – Georgia’s Governor signs SB 106 into law.

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March 27, 2019

March 27, 2019

March 27, 2019 – Georgia’s Governor signs SB 106, legislation that allows the state to pursue an 1115 waiver to make changes to Georgia’s Medicaid program that could include expanding coverage up to more poor adults and a 1332 state innovation waiver to make changes to private insurance in the state.

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March 25, 2019

March 25, 2019

March 25, 2019 – After a long debate on the House floor, the Georgia House passes SB 106 with no changes largely along party lines.

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March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019 – 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.

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March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019

March 21, 2019 – 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 emphasized 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.

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February 26, 2019

February 26, 2019

February 26, 2019 – After a long debate on the Senate floor, the Georgia Senate passes SB 106  with no changes by a party line vote.

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February 26, 2019

February 26, 2019

February 26, 2019 – After a long debate on Tuesday, the Senate passed SB 106 with no changes.

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February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019 – 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 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.

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February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019 – The Senate Health and Human Services (HHS) committee meets to discuss and hear testimony on SB 106. The bill passes out of committee with no changes and awaits a vote to move to the Senate floor.

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February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019 – Senator Blake Tillery introduces SB 106, the Patients First Act. The legislation allows Georgia’s Governor to: Pursue an 1115 Medicaid waiver that may extend Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes up to the poverty line. (This falls short of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.) 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 with the  

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February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019 – Senator Blake Tillery introduces SB 106, the Patients First Act. The legislation permits Georgia’s Governor to pursue two health care waivers that could make significant changes to health coverage for Georgia consumers. The bill allows the Governor to make potentially seismic changes to private health insurance in Georgia through 1332 waivers with little accountability.

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February 07, 2019

February 7, 2019

February 07, 2019 – 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.

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February 07, 2019

February 7, 2019

February 07, 2019 – Governor Kemp’s administration announces intent to seek two separate federal “waivers” for Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act to tailor new programs to Georgia’s needs.

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January 18, 2019

January 18, 2019

January 2019 – 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.

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January 13, 2019

January 13, 2019

January 2019 – Governor Kemp submits his first budget recommendations which includes $1 million for the Department of Community Health to draft an 1115 Medicaid waiver plan that will attempt to lower costs and improve access to health care. This waiver could include a pathway to health coverage for low-income Georgians.

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