(Media release from the Georgia Department of Human Services):
The Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS), in partnership with HOPE for Georgia Moms at Northeast Georgia Health System (HOPE), has announced $60,000 in community mini-grants available to fund community-based Medicaid/PeachCare for Kids® redetermination awareness and educational activities. These grants will leverage local partner expertise to inform and educate difficult-to-reach populations across the state, with a specific focus on pregnant and postpartum women and children.
“We are delighted to announce the Department of Human Services’ partnership with HOPE for Georgia Moms at Northeast Georgia Health System to implement local solutions to raising awareness about Medicaid redetermination,” said DHS Commissioner Candice Broce. “Our community-based partners throughout the state have been invaluable in helping promote Medicaid redetermination, and through HOPE for Georgia Moms’ involvement, these grants will further advance our shared goals to help all Georgians stay informed and stay covered.”
Up to five organizations could be awarded grants to place ads in local papers, staff local outreach, or host an event through May 2024—the end of the federally mandated Medicaid redetermination process. Organizations will participate in a competitive application process, and awardees will be selected by a panel of community and state-based experts.
Applications are due by Feb. 21, 2024. A review committee comprised of state and community-based redetermination and maternal health partners will select the awardees based on eligibility for the grant, capability to successfully complete the grant, and reach within prioritized and underserved communities. More information on the grant application process, organization eligibility criteria, and program requirements is available in the Application Summary.
The grants’ focus on reaching pregnant and new mothers is based on national research suggesting that pregnant women make up one of the populations most at risk for losing coverage during redetermination because of the challenges in reaching this cohort to complete paperwork.
In Georgia, approximately 56% of births are covered by Medicaid, and many mothers delivered during the pandemic when annual eligibility checks were paused for three years. Additionally, in 2022, Georgia expanded Medicaid coverage from 6 months to 12 months postpartum. The grants will help to ensure that Medicaid for Pregnant Women members who had a baby during the pandemic understand the redetermination process and will be prepared in the future for the resumption of annual benefits eligibility checks.
Since fall 2022, DHS, the Georgia Department of Community Health, and other community partners have been working to educate and mobilize Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® members through a statewide public information campaign.
The “Stay Informed, Stay Covered.” campaign includes TV and radio ads in English and Spanish, social media outreach, digital advertising, bus shelter signage, billboards, media outreach, regular partner briefings, informational videos, and resources in seven languages.
The partnership with HOPE for Georgia Moms is the latest example of the campaign’s dedication to emphasizing local solutions, local outreach, and local impact.
Eligible organizations can apply for one grant, a combination of grants, or all grants offered, up to a total amount of $12,000 that must be used by May 31, 2024. The grants offered are:
• $2,000 printing grant: to print and distribute approved campaign materials within the community.
• $2,000 local advertising grant: to purchase and place approved ads within local publications.
• $4,000 community event grant: to host a local event or to purchase and staff a booth at a larger event to raise awareness about Medicaid redetermination.
• $4,000 community staff supplement grant: to supplement community worker time to conduct outreach within the community.
“Georgia’s expansion of Medicaid to a full year postpartum is an important way we can improve maternal health in our state, but we must make sure that eligible pregnant and postpartum women take action to complete Medicaid redetermination so they can keep their coverage,” said Heid Ehrenreich, Project Director of HOPE for Georgia Moms. “Financial support of the ‘Stay Informed. Stay Covered.’ mini-grant program shows our commitment to our mission of improving health equity and maternal outcomes for residents in our community and throughout the state.”
This funding from HOPE for Georgia Moms will also allow the “Stay Informed. Stay Covered.” campaign to intensify support for pregnant and postpartum women on Medicaid by:
• Collaborating with Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia to create additional educational tools for pregnant women and their support systems on the redetermination process; and
• Increasing outreach to pregnant and postpartum women in underserved areas across the state through a series of in-person events.
Updates on these activities will be available as plans and materials are finalized.
Background on Medicaid/PeachCare for Kids® Redetermination
The Medicaid redetermination process is the result of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which requires all states to resume annual Medicaid eligibility checks after a three-year pause during the pandemic. States were required to begin these “redeterminations” by April 2023 and finish the process by May 2024, reporting on their progress monthly to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Georgia Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® members can update their contact information through one of three ways:
To learn more about Medicaid redetermination, visit staycovered.ga.gov.