State Advocacy: Georgia

Creating unlikely alliances in Georgia

One of the biggest opportunities to improve the health of diverse older Georgians is to expand Medicaid. Georgia “opted out” of Medicaid expansion, causing more than 400,000 Georgians to fall into the “Medicaid Coverage Gap.” In states that do not implement Medicaid expansion, millions of low-income adults that might have gained Medicaid will remain ineligible for the program. As a result, many immigrant families and older adults who are not yet eligible for Medicare are likely to be missing out on health coverage that can protect and support themselves and their families.

We are working with organizations and leaders on the ground to urge decision makers to expand Medicaid. We are also educating local communities about available insurance coverage and benefits for older people of color and LGBT older people under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that have the ability to improve their overall health and well-being.

About the project and our partners

Georgians for a Healthy Future is a leading health reform organization that provides a strong voice for Georgia consumers and communities on health care issues and decisions that impact their lives. Over the last year, they have been working closely with Georgia’s LGBT groups to build a Medicaid expansion campaign that includes the voices of all Georgians, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. As part of our state advocacy and education project, they are partnering with SAGE Atlanta, an affiliate of SAGE and program of The Health Initiative, to grow the campaign by bringing the voices, interests and perspectives of LGBT elders into the fold.

There is also a vibrant Bhutanese population in Georgia, an often underserved and overlooked community.  Our work links Georgians for a Healthy Future with the Bhutanese Association of Georgia (BAG) to create opportunities to discuss the need for Medicaid expansion, while highlighting the improved health insurance coverage and benefits in a culturally and linguistically competent manner. Together, the two groups will address how to best support Bhutanese elders and their families (many of whom are immigrants) in enrollment and plan identification that meets their complex needs.

Over the next year, our partners will conduct trainings, work with the media, create resources, and more, to help Georgians access the benefits they deserve while urging Georgia decision makers to expand Medicaid.

Check back often as we highlight our ongoing efforts in Georgia.

For more information on what’s happening in Georgia, contact us.