ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp joined members of the General Assembly on Monday to unveil Georgia Pathways, a 1115 demonstration waiver to provide an opportunity for 408,000 Georgians to have access to health insurance.
“Right now in our state, there are thousands of people working, training, volunteering or getting an education who cannot afford employer-sponsored insurance or a plan on the open market,” Kemp said in a news release. “These Georgians need coverage, but they have run out of realistic options. The Georgia Pathways Waiver addresses this challenge by providing 408,000 Georgians with access to obtain affordable health insurance.
“Georgia Pathways is innovative, cost-effective, and tailored to meet the health care needs of individuals and families in every part of the Peach State. Together, Georgia Pathways and Georgia Access encompass the entire health care delivery system, showcase our priorities, reflect our values and put patients first.”
Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan also praised the measure.
“The process of conservative leadership rolling out meaningful health care reform continues to gain momentum for hard-working Georgians and their families through the Georgia Pathways program,” Duncan said. “This program is laser-focused on solving the issues of affordability and access by further stabilizing the health care markets and connecting real career opportunities with Georgians to generate an accelerated rate of prosperity. It’s encouraging to go to work down at the Capitol every day knowing that Georgia is leading the national conversation on health care reform.”
“From the beginning, we have sought a Georgia-designed solution that serves our citizens and empowers them through access to quality, affordable health care,” House Speaker David Ralston said. “Georgia Pathways is an innovative plan that speaks to that goal. I commend Gov. Kemp and his team for their work, and I trust our federal partners will work expeditiously to review this proposal.”
The Georgia Pathways Waiver (1115) and Georgia Access Waiver (1332) are designed to enhance access to quality health care and affordable insurance for Georgians.
Georgia Pathways (1115 Demonstration Waiver)
Georgia is experiencing historic job growth and unmatched economic opportunity in every corner of the state. Participation in the job market is at record highs, unemployment recently dropped to a 20-year low, and Gov. Kemp continues to announce economic development projects totaling thousands of new jobs and billions in investment. But while wages continue to rise, hard-working Georgians making less than 100% of the federal poverty line struggle to afford health insurance.
Through the Georgia Pathways Waiver that Gov. Kemp will submit to the federal government in December, Georgia will create a new opportunity for individuals who are working, training, pursuing educational opportunities, or volunteering for at least 80 hours a month to earn access to an employer-sponsored health insurance plan or Medicaid, whichever option is more cost-effective for the state. Just like commercial insurance, the new enrollee will be required to pay a nominal premium based on a sliding fee scale, and he or she will have the ability to use their premium – and points acquired through healthy behaviors – to purchase health care necessities like eyeglasses, prescription drugs and hygiene products.
Unlike Medicaid Expansion, which would undermine access to care and cost Georgia taxpayers more than $1.5 billion in the first five years, the Georgia Pathways Waiver enhances eligibility for thousands of Georgians by honoring hard work, protecting families and championing individual responsibility.
♦ Enhances access to health care for Georgians making less than 100% FPL — of which there are 408,000 adult Georgians;
♦ Requires “skin in the game” with a monthly premium payment;
♦ Enrolls working, training or volunteering Georgians in Employee-Sponsored Insurance or Medicaid — depending on cost;
♦ Rewards healthy behavior through expense account for prescription drugs, eyeglasses;
♦ Uses conservative reform that reflects our values, champions individual responsibility.
♦ Gives more Georgians access to health care;
♦ Honors hard work, community engagement with enhanced Employer-Sponsored Insurance or Medicaid eligibility;
♦ Strengthens the employer-employee relationship;
♦ Creates a pathway to higher pay and prosperity.