Gov. Kemp signs healthcare bills, comprises benefits for pregnant Georgia moms

May 4, 2023 : Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp marked a string of bills into law Tuesday, altering specific healthcare systems and delivering more support for mothers in the state.

Concurrently, the bills signed Tuesday would extend eligibility for the Temporary Assistance for disadvantaged families funding to pregnant Georgia mothers as soon as conceiving.

The bills will also deliver funding and requirements to test pregnant moms for HIV and syphilis up to three times during their incubation, create a three-year test schedule for rural healthcare for mothers in Georgia and add protections to control shock medical billing of Georgians.

Concerning the expansion of eligibility for TANF, House Bill 129 opens up Georgia’s welfare agendas, allowing pregnant mothers to receive budgets once pregnant to pay for general needs and other financial service.

While federally, this was already permitted, states’ management of welfare eligibility began in the 1990s through the Personal Responsibility and Opportunity to Work Act, which provided individual states the right to limit or expand their program necessities. As a result, Georgia will expand who may benefit from the funding agenda to let pregnant mothers receive more direct financial aid through TANF programs.

An additional bill signed into law by the governor alongside the other corresponding legislation, House Bill 85, would require insurance providers to offer their clients coverage for biomarker testing. Nevertheless, the testing must be supported by proof from medical and scientific analysis and study.

The bills marked by Kemp to address health outcomes across Georgia put up a three-year pilot program for telehealth care of rural districts, specifically aimed at helping improve birth consequences and reducing preterm deliveries and mother mortality. As of 2016, the most current data available, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Georgia had a maternal mortality momentum of 16.9 deaths per 100,000 live deliveries.

Further, Kemp signed a bill that would add penalties for those who strike healthcare workers in the state.

Among the ruling signed, SB 65 creates a Georgia-based insurance market, permitting the state to manage healthcare coverage registrations for Georgians. However, the bill will still need the providers are federally supported.

A last health-related bill signed by Kemp was SB 223, which permits patients to be reimbursed for what they spend on medicines in clinical trials for cancer treatments.