Biden administration suspends Georgia plan to bypass Obamacare site
Georgia officials now have until July to retool the state’s Affordable Care Act enrollment plan. The news comes as the Biden administration has suspended the state’s effort to divert Georgians from the official Obamacare website.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reports that 701,135 Georgians currently have health coverage through the ACA Marketplace.
Gov. Brian Kemp’s plan would allow the state to redirect people on healthcare.gov to private broker and insurance company sites.
The so-called Georgia Access Model won approval from the Trump administration in 2020 to take effect next year.
The Biden administration’s been reconsidering it but has repeatedly called for more information from the state, which federal officials say Georgia has not provided.
And in a letter late Friday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services set a new deadline of July 28 for Georgia to update its plan and outline how it’ll maintain ACA enrollment, which a previous analysis found could be hurt if Georgia’s plan took effect.
“The departments are committed to working with Georgia to make changes to the Georgia Access Model to ensure enrollment does not decrease in the state under the waiver, which is why the departments have afforded the state an opportunity to rectify the Georgia Access Model, rather than terminating the Georgia Access Model at this time,” the letter reads.
A spokesperson for the governor’s office said in a statement the office is, “in receipt of the letter and it is under review.”
Any plan that would meaningfully disrupt health insurance for hundreds of thousands of people across the state should be carefully considered, Laura Colbert, the executive director of the group Georgians for a Healthy Future, says.
“I urge Gov. Kemp to take this opportunity to reconsider the Georgia Access waiver,” Cobert says. “Georgians and their families would be much better served by building on the stable and growing health insurance marketplace that we already have, rather than pushing it aside to gamble on an untested idea.”