~ Nearly two-thirds of new members report going without medical care in the year prior to receiving health coverage ~
ALEXANDRIA—Governor Ralph Northam announced Wednesday, July 31, that more than 300,000 Virginia adults are enrolled in health coverage and receiving medical services since the Commonwealth expanded its Medicaid program. Governor Northam made the announcement at Neighborhood Health, a community health center serving more than 25,000 patients annually at 12 locations in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax County.
“Because we expanded the Commonwealth’s Medicaid program, hundreds of thousands of additional Virginians now have access to medical care and an opportunity to lead healthier, more productive lives,” said Governor Northam. “The tremendous progress we have made with enrollment shines a light on the need for quality, affordable health care in Virginia and across our country. We will continue to get the word out to newly eligible individuals who may be unaware that the rules for health coverage have changed.”
The new coverage is available to men and women ages 19 through 64 who are not eligible for Medicare and who meet income requirements, which vary by family size. For example, a single adult with an annual income at or below $17,237 may be eligible for coverage. An adult in a three-person family with a total household annual income at or below $29,436 may be eligible.
The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) tracks Medicaid expansion enrollment through a dashboard, available here.
“Our new members are proactively using their new coverage to address ongoing health challenges,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, MD. “To date, more than 229,100 newly eligible adults went to the doctor, filled a prescription or received some other health service. Those include 33,000 members with hypertension, 18,800 with diabetes, 16,100 with substance use disorder and 3,300 with cancer. We can see that Medicaid expansion is addressing urgent health needs for these individuals.”
In June 2018, Governor Northam signed the two-year state budget that expanded eligibility for adults after working with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to craft a plan that will enable Virginia health care providers to receive $2.4 billion in federal funds over two years in return for medical services to new Medicaid members.
“These newly eligible men and women have inspired our agency to take a more member-centered approach to serving our entire population,” said DMAS Director Dr. Jennifer S. Lee. “We have learned a great deal from our new members, including the financial struggles they faced before receiving coverage. Nearly two-thirds tell us that they were forced to go without needed medical care in the year before Medicaid expansion. Today they have greater stability in their health and finances.”
More information about the new health coverage and eligibility rules is available at www.coverva.org. The website includes an eligibility screening tool to help individuals assess whether they may qualify for coverage. Visitors to the website can sign up to receive regular information through email and text about the new coverage and enrollment process. Information is also available by calling 1-855-242-8282. Individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired can call 1-888-221-1590.