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State to freeze PeachCare enrollment

POSTED: March 10, 2007 5:10 a.m.
With the current funding for PeachCare for Kids dwindling away, the Georgia Department of Community Health announced a proposal to place a temporary freeze on enrollment for the program starting on March 11.
According to GDCH commissioner Dr. Rhonda Meadows, the decision to cease accepting new enrollees is “an effort to sustain the PeachCare for Kids Program so that low-income children currently enrolled in the program may continue to receive low-cost health insurance.”
“Parents and guardians of children already enrolled in PCK (PeachCare for Kids) should not be alarmed by this notification,” Meadows said after filing the public notice for the suggested policy change. “As long as the PCK has money to operate, your children will receive care under the terms of their current enrollment.”
Georgia’s State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) for uninsured children of low to moderate-income families, PeachCare is projected to be depleted of operating funds sometime next month, however.
Jointly supported by the state and federal government, Georgia lawmakers and health officials have for months traced the program’s financial woes to the $131 million federal funding shortage for the 2007 federal fiscal year.
Congress is expected to disburse its portion of funding and reauthorize the PeachCare program for an additional five years in the months to come, but many of Georgia’s children may go uninsured in the interim.
State legislators and Governor Sonny Perdue are urging the federal government to speed up the process.
“It is imperative that Congress act quickly to cover 2007 funding shortfalls...” Perdue wrote in a January letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “It is vitally important to our most needy citizens that Congress act expeditiously.”

Speak out

Individuals wishing to comment in writing about the plan to cap enrollment should do so before Mar. 2.
Letters can be mailed to the Board of Community Health, P.O. Box 38406, Atlanta, GA 30334.
Comments from written and public testimony will be summarized and provided to the Board of Community Health prior to the Mar. 8 board meeting, when they are scheduled to vote on the proposed change.
 

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