Planning for Healthy Babies Waiver Approved for Georgia

Print This Post

Medicare and Medicaid Services approved Georgia Department of Community Health’s (DCH) application for a Medicaid 1115 demonstration waiver to provide family planning-related services to individuals not otherwise eligible for Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).”

“DCH is working to improve Georgia’s very low birthweight (VLBW) and low birthweight (LBW) rates,” Jerry Dubberly, chief of the Medicaid Division within DCH wrote in a letter to the Reducing LBW workgroup. “The nation’s first 1115 demonstration waiver to focus on reducing LBW rates will begin in Georgia in January. This is a testament to our efforts.”

Section 1115 of the Social Security Act provides the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) with broad authority to waive certain statutory requirements for states to conduct research and demonstration projects that further the goals of Medicaid and SCHIP. States use the Section 1115 waiver authority to cover non-Medicaid and SCHIP services. In recent years, there has been increased interest among states and the federal government in the Section 1115 waiver authority as a means to restructure coverage, control costs, and increase state flexibility.

The demonstration waiver will:

  • provide family planning-related services to eligible women who meet income requirements,
  • increase child spacing intervals through effective contraceptive use,
  • reduce the number of LBW and VLBW births through access to prenatal planning, education, and vitamins, and
  • provide access to inter-pregnancy care services to women with a previous VLBW infant.

“This is exciting news for both the department’s Medicaid Division and the state of Georgia,” said Dubberly. “This demonstration waiver will positively impact Georgia families by improving the health and wellbeing of women and infants. We are looking forward to implementing the family planning program and furthering DCH’s mission to provide access to affordable, quality health care in communities throughout the state.”

GaFCP, the Promising Practices Network, and RAND Corporation are engaged in a collaborative initiative to increase awareness of low-birthweight trends and current promising practices prevention efforts.

Learn more.


William Valladares
GaFCP Communications Manager

404-527-7394 (x114)