Feds deny Kemp’s medical insurance marketplace waiver  |

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ATLANTA – The federal agency in command of Medicaid Tuesday denied Georgia’s application for a waiver to establish the state’s own medical insurance marketplace.

The waiver program was a cornerstone of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s approach to reforming health care within the Peach State.  

Under Kemp’s model, Georgians would have enrolled in insurance policy through private insurance brokers slightly than the federal healthcare.gov medical insurance marketplace.  

The plan to establish Georgia’s own marketplace system initially gained federal approval under then-President Donald Trump in November 2020.  

But after the Biden administration took office, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked Georgia to submit a revised plan for the waiver that may reflect latest federal policies and rules.  

Georgia challenged the HHS findings and didn’t submit the requested changes to the plan. Kemp argued on the time that the healthcare.gov website was cumbersome and inefficient.

Now, HHS has suspended Georgia’s waiver plan.  

A letter Tuesday from Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, administrator of the agency’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), outlined among the problems with the Georgia waiver plan that led the agency to suspend it.  

Georgia didn’t provide the federal government with sufficient information to prove that its plan for medical insurance would prevent coverage losses, the letter noted.  

Georgia also didn’t provide HHS enough details about the way it planned to speak in regards to the latest marketplace and have interaction underserved populations. This system was not yet able to go live, in keeping with the federal letter.  

“Consumers in Georgia will proceed to make use of HealthCare.gov, which CMS will operate, to buy individual medical insurance coverage for 2023,” a CMS spokeswoman said. 

She also noted that Georgia could still submit a corrective motion plan that may allow the state to implement the plan in the long run.  

“We’re evaluating our options based on CMS’ decision,” said Katie Byrd, a spokeswoman for Kemp.  

Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock praised the move.  

“Permanently suspending the state’s harmful Section 1332 waiver will be certain that Georgians will have the ability to maintain purchasing inexpensive health care coverage,” Warnock said Tuesday. “It will save lives and save families money.” 

This story is out there through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.

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