ATLANTA - The state plans to implement a new Medicaid expansion plan - Georgia Pathways - that includes work requirements next July after several years of legal wrangling over the controversial proposal. "I can confirm that we are moving forward with implementing the Pathways plan," said Andrew Isenhour, a spokesman for Gov. Brian Kemp.
The limited Medicaid expansion plan will require enrollees to work, study or volunteer for at least 80 hours per month.
"No one who currently qualifies for Medicaid will be affected by the new program," Isenhour said. "It is important to note that we are only adding people to the Medicaid rolls with this program. Georgia Pathways will expand Medicaid to otherwise ineligible Georgians who satisfy the work, job training, education, or volunteer requirements."
Around 345, 000 additional Georgians will become eligible for Medicaid under the new plan, as long as they meet other requirements, Isenhour added.
Georgians whose incomes are below the federal poverty level (currently $13, 590 for one person) will be eligible for the insurance.
To get the insurance, Georgians will need to work or perform other qualifying activities such as vocational training, education, job readiness programs or community service.
Some enrollees will pay monthly premiums ranging from $7-$16, depending on income and tobacco use.
Kemp has made the Pathways plan a cornerstone of his health-care policy.
While 39 states have now opted for Medicaid expansion plans that allow low-income people to obtain health care, Kemp and other Georgia Republican leaders remain opposed to full Medicaid expansion, citing concerns about costs to the state and consumers.
Instead, the Republican-led General Assembly approved the more limited Medicaid expansion proposal back in 2019.
In October 2020, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Georgia's Pathways plan.
After Democratic President Joe Biden took office, CMS rescinded approval for the work-requirement plans in Georgia along with 13 other states. Lawyers for Georgia sued in federal court. In August, a U.S. District judge effectively allowed the Pathways plan to move forward.