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2022 New Year rings in new Georgia state laws

Every new year comes with a new set of laws and Georgia has a few that are rolling out along with 2022.

Starting January 1st several bills signed by Governor Brian Kemp during the 2021-2022 legislative session will take effect. Here’s a closer look at what will change:

Ensuring Transparency in
Prior Authorization Act – (SB80)

In an effort to create more transparency for patients who are turning to healthcare providers, several lawmakers took aim at the prior authorization.

Prior authorization is when insurance companies check before agreeing to pay for certain health services or medications. The practice, which is sometimes called prior approval, requires doctors and medical care professionals to get the green light in advance before conducting or even offering a service to the patient. It is often the health insurer’s way of determining if a treatment plan is medically necessary. This process is sometimes required for payment coverage.

Georgia’s new rule requires insurers to make any requirements or restrictions for prior authorization available on its website to the general public. It sets a new standard on how the process should work in the Peach State.

Supporters of the bill said it will help patients get the care they need faster and create more transparency between insurers, healthcare professionals and those seeking medical treatment. 

Lease Vehicle Tax Exemption; 

Revising definition of fair market value of motor vehicles  (HB63)

Georgia drivers may want to pay attention to this law as it changes the way fair market value is determined for leased vehicles. 

The bill targets alternative ad valorem tax and revises the definition of fair market value, according to the text.

Dubbed the Lease Vehicle Tax Exemption bill, the legislation states the value of a motor vehicle leased mainly for personal use won’t include interest or finance charges in base or down payments. 

This change comes on the heels of the Title Ad Valorem Tax: Used Cars and Tax Rate which changed the way the retail price for used cars was determined. 

Enhancing Georgia’s 

foster care system 

(SB28)

The Senate bill targets the Juvenile Code and Domestic Relations with provisions relating to the protection of children. The overall goal is to help provide more protection and safety for foster children, as outlined in the legislation.

The new law addresses several definitions by which the state uses as a guidepost to interfere with a child’s livelihood and now factors emotional abuse as well.

Georgia clarified how a child could be faced with sexual exploitation adding “a caregiver or other person responsible for the care of a child who allows, permits, encourages, or requires a child to engage in sexual servitude,” or sexually explicit conduct will be included under the umbrella term. 

The law also outlines what is considered abandonment and expands guidelines under which the state will recognize a parent who has foregone or relinquished parental duties.

Additionally, it will require annual training for juvenile court intake officers and allow hearsay evidence in certain juvenile proceedings, according to the text. 

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