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CALL  TO ACTION – Preserve Mental Health Care Access in Georgia

Federal officials kicked off what will likely be the final public comment period on Georgia’s 1332 waiver request to change practices in its private insurance market. This plan threatens access to care for Georgians with mental health and substance use disorders. We need you to speak up today! 


Thank you for supporting and protecting mental health care in Georgia!

Georgia has requested permission to make changes to its private insurance market.

The plan has two parts:

1. Reinsurance—helps to lower premiums for health plans sold in the individual market starting in 2022.

2. Georgia Access model – ends the state’s use of, forcing Georgians in the individual market to rely solely on insurance companies and web brokers.
WE DO NOT SUPPORT THIS, as it will REDUCE HEALTH COVERAGE ACCESS, AFFORDABILITY, AND QUALITY for people with mental illness and substance use disorders, leaving Georgians with fewer ways to find or maintain recovery.


  • Cut-and-paste: the language below
  • Add: how this change would affect you and your loved ones
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  • Subject: Georgia Section 1332 Waiver Comments
We thank CMS, Governor Kemp, and DCH for the work on the federal waivers to help cover more Georgians.  We would like the waiver request to be amended to address the issues that impact access for those affected by mental illness.The 1332 Waiver limits access to mental health care by:
1. Eliminating the one-stop-shop where people can compare comprehensive health coverage – where all plans are required to include mental health and substance use disorder care;
2. Would no longer steer Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens to apply for Medicaid when eligible, including families with children;
3. Without a one-stop-shop or options for automatic re-enrollment, will cause greater confusion and less access, leaving many Georgians to fall through the cracks without coverage and increase the state’s rate of uninsured;
4. Would steer some people into skimpier health plans, sometimes unknowingly, leaving them without vital services or coverage for their pre-existing conditions, and raising the costs for others who rely on comprehensive coverage that includes mental health and addiction services.

We support more and easier access for those with mental health conditions. Georgia currently ranks 47th in access to mental health, care, resources, and insurance currently and this was before the recent State of Georgia budget cuts to behavioral health care.

We hope that CMS will require Georgia to reconsider these points of the waiver request to ensure that the waiver keeps access to mental health care services available to all.

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NAMI Georgia is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a grassroots organization dedicated to support, advocate, educate and research best practices for individuals and families affected by mental illness. Advocacy is a vital part of our mission.












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