CMS blocks Georgia's plan to bypass ACA website

CMS has suspended Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp's plan to create an alternative healthcare exchange to the ACA marketplace, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Originally set to go live in November, the new exchange would have had state residents sign up for health coverage through private brokers and not through the website.

CMS notified the state about its decision Aug. 9, which is when it also took effect.

"Georgia should not take any further action to implement the Georgia Access Model as of the effective date of the suspension," CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure wrote in a letter.

The ACA waivers allowing Georgia to create its own insurance marketplace were approved under the Trump administration in 2020.

In April, CMS wanted more information about the state's plan and asked for an updated waiver submission. Georgia challenged that request and did not comply.

The suspension does not mean termination, however, meaning implementation of the plan could still occur if changes are made. In addition, the CMS decision only affects the alternative marketplace plan, and a state reinsurance program will remain in place.

"We're evaluating our options based on CMS' decision," a spokesperson for Mr. Kemp's office told GPB.

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