Sen. Michael Rhett Presents SB 368 to Senate Health and Human Services Committee

ATLANTA (February 23, 2016) | Sen. Michael Rhett (D – Marietta) presented Senate Bill 368, the Premium Assistance Program/Rhett Cares, to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee last week. SB 368 will help qualified individuals pay for their healthcare premiums through a premium assistance program.

“I am grateful to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for allowing me the opportunity to present a piece of legislation that will help individuals receive the health care they need and deserve,” said Sen. Rhett. “Often, these people have an income that is too high to qualify for Medicaid, but too low to qualify for subsidies provided by the U.S. government and therefor fall into a ‘coverage gap.’”

Senate Bill 368 creates a premium assistance program that uses federal Medicaid funds to purchase private coverage for newly eligible Medicaid beneficiaries. Individuals who wish to participate in this premium assistance program must have an income that is equal to or less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, and must contribute no more than five percent of their annual income to their health insurance premiums as a personal responsibility premium.

A Legislative Oversight Committee for Health Care Premium Assistance, which will be charged with periodically reviewing the implementation and operation of this program, is also created from this legislation.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee did not take action on SB 368 last week because a Fiscal Note stating the financial impact is required. This is the first time an expansion alternative has been heard in the Senate Committee since the passing of the Affordable Care Act by Congress in 2010.

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For Immediate Release:
February 23, 2016

For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Director
Brittany Wagner, Communications Specialist