ATLANTA, GEORGIA — Today, the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI) and Georgians for a Healthy Future (GHF) issued statements in response to the announcement by Georgia’s Department of Community Health regarding enrollment figures for the Pathways to Coverage Medicaid Program.
Georgia’s Department of Community Health has revealed that it has enrolled about 1,300 Georgians in Pathways to Coverage, the new Medicaid option for adults with lower incomes who do not qualify for traditional Medicaid and who report 80 hours per month of work or other qualifying activities. Since the program launched in July, the state has enrolled only about 1% of the 100,000 Georgians it estimated would enroll in the first year of implementation. In contrast, South Dakota, which launched full Medicaid expansion for low-income adults without monthly reporting or work requirements, has successfully enrolled about 10,000 people since its July start date.
Georgia’s Pathways to Coverage enrollment numbers fall significantly below the anticipated figures and fail to provide the hundreds of thousands of Georgians in the coverage gap with access to the life-saving healthcare they deserve.
Statement From GHF’s Executive Director Laura Colbert:
“Georgians heard promises from state leaders about a new program that would expand access to care, cover between 31,000-345,000 uninsured adults, and lower costs for families. Pathways to Coverage is falling well short of these commitments to uninsured Georgians. Medicaid expansion would be a more effective way to meaningfully cover state residents and connect them to care, as South Dakota’s early success demonstrates.”
Statement From GBPI Director of Health Justice Leah Chan:
“Georgia has already invested about $20 million in state funds to launch the Pathways to Coverage program and earmarked another $118 million for the current fiscal year. These low initial enrollment numbers do not match the large-scale investment made thus far. Further data and more transparency are needed to help us gain a deeper understanding of program gaps and how the state can pivot to ensure taxpayer dollars are being utilized as intended — to connect uninsured Georgians with the healthcare they deserve.”
About GHF & GBPI
Georgians for a Healthy Future collaborates with communities and partners to lead policy change that advances health equity for all Georgians. Our vision is of a day in which all Georgians have equitable opportunities to achieve their highest level of health. We do this by delivering actionable health policy information to policymakers and advocates; providing resources to help consumers become strong advocates for policy and their own health needs; and elevating the consumer experience to inform policy change. Read more at healthyfuturega.org.
The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI) strives to be an anti-racist research and advocacy organization that advances lasting solutions to expand economic opportunity and well-being for all Georgians. We examine the state’s budget, taxes and public policies to provide thoughtful analysis and responsible solutions that address inequities in our state. We educate the public about complex issues confronting Georgia. We activate Georgians to call for policy solutions that put people first. We aim to inspire informed debate and decision-making, advancing our vision of a fair and inclusive Georgia where everyone can prosper.