Georgia pushes back Biden’s reassessment of health plan

ATLANTA – The Biden administration’s decision to reassess Georgia’s plan to overhaul the way state residents purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act comes as a “surprise” and suggests that she wants to review approval of the plan, which is not allowed, Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said. .

Georgia’s plan – dubbed “Georgia Access” – would improve the insurance buying experience and encourage the private sector to enroll uninsured Georgian residents, said the director of the Office of Strategy and Coordination of the Kemp’s health in a letter to the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. Services.

“Despite unsubstantiated claims to the contrary, Georgia Access will provide consumers in our state with quality insurance coverage that is more affordable than a single federal solution,” states Grant Thomas’ letter. It is dated July 2 and was first reported by Georgia Health News.

As part of the Republican governor’s plan, residents of Georgia would bypass and purchase federally subsidized health insurance through private agents.

Critics fear the move will make it harder to buy insurance and lead healthy people to cheaper plans with limited coverage, raising insurance premiums for the elderly and sick who need the benefits. full benefits required by ACA. This is because Georgia’s move to private websites would make it easier for consumers to simultaneously view plans that do not provide all of the benefits required by ACA.

Former President Donald Trump’s administration approved the state’s plan last year, and state officials touted it as a way to improve insurance coverage. Democrat Joe Biden’s administration has sought to strengthen the ACA – President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

In a letter to Kemp last month, the US Department of Health and Human Services expressed concerns over the proposal to involve the private sector, not the government, in outreach activities to bring residents state to purchase insurance under the ACA. Georgia had not indicated any specific financial commitment from the private sector to engage in commercialization, federal health officials said.

The letter – signed by Chiquita Brooks LaSure, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – noted that the Biden administration had increased funding to market ACA and expanded grants and tax credit eligibility to purchase insurance. through the program. He asked Georgian officials to factor these changes into updated “actuarial and economic analyzes” to see if their plan would meet federal requirements, including covering a comparable number of people and offering full benefits.

In his letter, Thomas said that 11 insurance companies, including five new ones, and eight registration providers have committed to participating in Georgia Access. The state has already made “substantial” investments in its plan in addition to investments by private groups. The letter asks for clarification on the Biden administration’s request, including how it meets the terms and conditions of the Trump administration’s approval. These conditions, Thomas said, do not allow federal officials to “reopen approval” of the plan.

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