2021 Georgia Code
Title 49 - Social Services
Chapter 5 - Programs and Protection for Children and Youth
Article 13 - Peachcare for Kids
§ 49-5-273. Creation of Peachcare; Availability; Eligibility; Payment of Premiums; Enrollment; Authorization to Obtain Income Eligibility Verification From the Department of Revenue

Universal Citation: GA Code § 49-5-273 (2021)
  1. There is created the PeachCare for Kids Program to provide health care benefits for children in families with income below 235 percent of the federal poverty level. Children from birth through 18 years of age in families with family incomes below 235 percent of the federal poverty level and who are not eligible for medical assistance under Medicaid shall be eligible for the program, to be administered by the department pursuant to federal law and subject to availability of funding.
  2. No entitlement to benefits for the children covered under the program or this article shall be created by the program, nor shall this article or any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to this article be interpreted to entitle any person to receive any health services or insurance available under this program. The program shall be established subject to the availability of funds specifically appropriated by the General Assembly for this purpose and federal matching funds as set forth in federal law. The department shall operate the program consistent with administrative efficiency and the best interests of children.
  3. The program shall offer substantially the same health care services available to children under Georgia's Medicaid plan, but coverage for such services shall not be provided by an expansion of eligibility for medical assistance under Medicaid. However, the program shall exclude nonemergency transportation and targeted case management services. The department shall utilize appropriate medical management and utilization control procedures necessary to manage care effectively and shall prospectively limit enrollment in the program and modify the health care services benefits when the department has reason to believe the cost of such enrollment or services may exceed the availability of funding.
  4. The department may require copayments for services consistent with federal law; provided, however, that no copayment shall be charged for preventive services and no copayments or premiums shall be charged for any child under six years of age. Preventive services include but are not limited to medically necessary maintenance medication and monitoring for chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
  5. The department shall require payment of premiums for participation in the program. The premiums shall not exceed the amounts permitted under Section 1916(b)(1) of the Social Security Act or federal law.
  6. The department may provide for presumptive eligibility for all applicant children as allowed by federal law and in a manner consistent with the provisions of this article.
  7. The department shall provide for outreach for the purpose of enrolling children in the program. Applications shall be accepted by mail or in person. All necessary and appropriate steps shall be taken to achieve administrative cost efficiency, reduce administrative barriers to application for and receipt of services under the program, verify eligibility for the program and enforce eligibility standards, and ensure that enrollment in the program does not substitute for coverage under a group health insurance plan.
  8. Any health care provider who is enrolled in the Medicaid program shall be deemed to be enrolled in the program.
  9. The department shall file a Title XXI plan to carry out the program with the United States Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The department shall have the authority and flexibility to make such decisions as are necessary to secure approval of that plan consistent with this article. The department shall provide a copy of the plan to the General Assembly. The department shall operate this program consistent with federal law.
  10. The department shall publish in print or electronically an annual report, a copy of which shall be provided to the Governor, setting forth the number of participants in the program, the health services provided, the amount of money paid to providers, and other pertinent information with respect to the administration of the program. The department shall not be required to distribute copies of the annual report to the members of the General Assembly but shall notify the members of the availability of the report in the manner which it deems to be most effective and efficient.
  11. All state agencies shall cooperate with the department and its designated agents by providing requested information to assist in the administration of the program.
  12. The department, through the Department of Administrative Services or any other appropriate entity, may contract for any or all of the following: the collection of premiums, processing of applications, verification of eligibility, outreach, data services, and evaluation, if such contracting achieves administrative or service cost efficiency. The department, and other state agencies as appropriate, shall provide necessary information to any entity which has contracted with the department for services related to the administration of the program upon request. For purposes of compliance with Code Section 34-8-125, a request by any entity which has contracted with the department for services related to the administration of the program shall be deemed to be a request by a responsible official of the department and considered to be a request by the department.
  13. Nothing in this article shall be interpreted in a manner so as to preclude the department from contracting with licensed health maintenance organizations (HMO) or provider sponsored health care corporations (PSHCC) for coverage of program services and eligible children; provided, however, that such contracts shall require payment of premiums and copayments in a manner consistent with this article. The department may require enrollment in a health maintenance organization (HMO) or provider sponsored health care corporation (PSHCC) as a condition of receiving coverage under the program.
  14. The Department of Education and local boards of education shall cooperate with and provide assistance to the department and its designated agents for the purposes of identifying and enrolling eligible children in the program.
  15. As necessary to enforce the provisions of this article, the department or its duly authorized agents may submit to the state revenue commissioner the names of applicants for health care benefits or payments provided under this article, as well as the relevant income threshold specified therein. If the department elects to contract with the state revenue commissioner for such purposes, the state revenue commissioner and his or her agents or employees shall notify the department whether or not each submitted applicant's income exceeds the relevant income threshold provided. The department shall pay the state revenue commissioner for all costs incurred by the Department of Revenue pursuant to this subsection. No information shall be provided by the Department of Revenue to the department without an executed cooperative agreement between the two departments. Any tax information secured from the federal government by the Department of Revenue pursuant to express provisions of Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code may not be disclosed by the Department of Revenue pursuant to this subsection. Any person receiving any tax information under the authority of this subsection is subject to the provisions of Code Section 48-7-60 and to all penalties provided under Code Section 48-7-61 for unlawful divulging of confidential tax information.

(Code 1981, §49-5-273, enacted by Ga. L. 1998, p. 623, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 472, §§ 1, 2; Ga. L. 2002, p. 415, § 49; Ga. L. 2005, p. 1036, § 41/SB 49; Ga. L. 2005, p. 1438, § 5/SB 140; Ga. L. 2009, p. 63, § 2/SB 165; Ga. L. 2010, p. 838, § 10/SB 388.)

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