Beginning in 2002 and ending in 2007, the Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the Georgia Governor’s Office three HRSA State Planning Grants for the uninsured. The Georgia Health Policy Center at Georgia State University administered the grants on behalf of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.
In 2004, Georgia was awarded a Pilot Planning Grant by HRSA to design a health coverage expansion program. With the support of the Governor’s Office, four community organizations representing four distinct areas of the state were invited to create community-based coverage plans:
1. Atlanta: Atlanta Regional Health Forum, 2. Brunswick: Coastal Medial Access Project, 3. Dalton: Northwest Georgia Healthcare Partnership, 4. Forsyth: Community Health Works
The four communities spent 18 months building coalitions, conducting community forums and focus groups, conducting outreach to the local business, provider, and philanthropic communities, and determining what kind of coverage plan to design. Three communities – Brunswick, Dalton, and Forsyth – chose to design a three-share coverage program. In 2006, the three communities were awarded additional funds by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation to continue to develop their plans. To date, the communities have designed a benefit, completed actuarial analysis and initial pricing of the benefit, contracted with the University of Georgia to conduct surveys in each of the three communities with uninsured small firm workers and small employers that do not offer health coverage.