Medicaid Expansion

More Than 750,000 Virginia Adults Gain New Medicaid Dental Benefit

Covered services include cleanings and dentures

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that more than 750,000 adult Medicaid members will have access to comprehensive dental services under a benefit that begins July 1, 2021. The Governor celebrated the launch of the new adult dental benefit during an event at the Capital Area Health Network’s Vernon J. Harris Medical and Dental Center in Richmond.

“Oral health is an integral part of overall health, well-being, and quality of life,” said Governor Northam. “This historic expansion of services will ensure that adult Medicaid members across our Commonwealth have access to the quality dental care they deserve. I am proud of the bipartisan support and strong collaboration we have received from dentists and health care advocates that helped us reach this significant milestone.”

Adult members currently eligible for full Medicaid benefits will have more services and provider choices under the initiative approved in the new state budget. The new benefit covers up to three regular cleanings annually as well as preventive care, X-rays, fillings, dentures, oral surgeries and other oral health services.

“With this new benefit, Virginians will have access to true wellness,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, MD, MHCM. “I am grateful to the dental community, the General Assembly, and the Department for Medical Assistance Services for all of their work to make this happen. Together, we can make Virginia the healthiest state in the country.”

The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) and DentaQuest, the state’s Medicaid dental benefits administrator, are working closely with dental providers to encourage participation in the initiative. Providers wishing to serve Medicaid members can call 1-888-912-3456 or visit the Dentaquest website for information on credentialing and enrolling in the Medicaid provider network.

“When we expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2019, our new members identified dental services as a top need,” said DMAS Director Karen Kimsey. “With more than 562,000 new members as a result of Medicaid expansion, we appreciate the support of Virginia dentists in helping us meet the tremendous need we know exists in our Commonwealth for oral health care.”

Research indicates that poor oral health is linked to high blood pressure, as well as pregnancy and birth complications.

Medicaid members can contact a DentaQuest representative at 1-888-912-3456 to find a dentist and learn more about the new dental benefit. Children and pregnant individuals enrolled in Medicaid, Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) and FAMIS MOMS are already eligible to receive dental care.

Virginia expands Medicaid access for legal immigrants

By Cameron Jones, Capital News Service

RICHMOND, Va. -- Ni Kin became a permanent resident in 2002 at 70 years old, but she was unable to work after moving from Myanmar to Virginia due to mobility problems.

Kin required more medical attention related to her condition as she aged, but was unable to see a doctor because she didn’t have insurance, according to her grandson Tin Myint. Kin didn’t qualify for Medicaid due to a state rule requiring permanent residents to present 10 years of work history to use public health insurance, Myint said. Kin also did not qualify for no-premium Medicare, since she never worked in the country and does not qualify for Social Security benefits.

“We have family friends who live in other states that were able to get Medicaid when they applied, who've been living here for 10 to 15 years, and we thought that applied to us also,” Myint said. “That was disappointing and shocking to hear that Virginia was one of the very few states that had this particular rule.”

Kin is one of thousands of permanent residents in Virginia that will qualify for Medicaid due to a new change eliminating the 10-year work history requirement, known as the “40-quarter rule,” according to the Virginia Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit group that advocates for low-income Virginians. The commonwealth was one of six states with a 10-year work history requirement for Medicaid. 

Gov. Ralph Northam and state legislators approved a budget last year that eliminated the rule. The change went into effect this month. 

Northam’s line budget amendment includes $4.4 million in state funds for this change, according to the Virginia Poverty Law Center.

Freddy Mejia, a policy analyst at the Commonwealth Institute, said the old rule was a roadblock for legal permanent residents. The Commonwealth Institute is an organization that analyzes the impact of fiscal and economic issues on low-income communities.

“Someone who comes to the country as an older adult, possibly doesn’t get the opportunity to work for 10 years but gets sick,” Mejia said as an example.

Mejia said lawmakers and advocates lobbied for the change in the 2019 General Assembly, but it did not pass. Northam and lawmakers approved the change as a line budget amendment in 2020, but it was vetoed once the COVID-19 pandemic began, Mejia said. It was funded again in the 2020 fall special session, and the change went into effect April 1, 2021. 

Mejia credited this change to advocacy efforts from different parties, including the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, the Virginia Poverty Law Center, and politicians such as Del. Mark Sickles, D- Franconia, Sen. George Barker, D- Alexandria, and Northam. 

Jill Hanken, a health attorney and director of ENROLL Virginia, said immigrants have suffered in a disparate way throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the policy change will encourage people to apply for the coverage they need. ENROLL Virginia is a project of the Virginia Poverty Law Center that helps Virginians access affordable health coverage.

“Statewide it demonstrates that Virginia is welcoming and interested in making sure that immigrants have access to the health services that they need,” Hanken said. 

ENROLL Virginia will continue alerting immigrants across the commonwealth of this change, Hanken said. 

Meanwhile, Myint is excited to sign his grandmother up for Medicaid.

“I can’t wait for her to get proper medical checkup, the needs that she needs to have a living condition she deserves,” Myint said. 

 

Capital News Service is a program of Virginia Commonwealth University's Robertson School of Media and Culture. Students in the program provide state government coverage for a variety of media outlets in Virginia.

From the Desk of Delegate Tyler: Do you need healthcare?

~Medicaid Expansion for Healthcare Coverage deadline is December 15.~

If you do not have healthcare, please review the updated eligibility criteria for Medicaid. Medicaid expansion applications will reach their application deadline on December 15, 2018. To be eligible, you must be between the ages of 19-64 and you CANNOT be eligible for Medicare. One of the most notable improvements is that Medicaid will now cover adults without children, which was not offered before. The amount of income one can make also has increased which provides an opportunity for even more people to gain coverage. To apply for healthcare coverage, apply online at https://www.healthcare.govor contact your county’s Social Services office for more assistance (**see contact information below**).  The income requirements are as follows:

INCOME REQUIREMENTS

MONTHLY                                                YEARLY

Family Size                             Monthly Income                     Yearly Income

1 (No Children)                            $1,397                                                 $16,754

2 Members                                   $1,894                                                 $22,715

3 Members                                     $2,391                                                 $28,677

4 Members                                     $2,887                                                 $34,638

5 Members                                     $3,384                                                 $40,600

6 Members                                     $3,881                                                 $46,562

7 Members                                     $4,378                                                 $52,523

8 Members                                     $4,875                                                 $58,485

 

SOCIAL SERVICES DEPT. CONTACT INFO

Greensville Co., VA & Emporia, VA Social Services: (434) 634-6576

Southampton Co., VA Social Services: (757) 653-3080

Franklin, VA Social Services: (757) 562-8520

Brunswick Co., VA Social Services: (434) 848-2142

Dinwiddie Co., VA Social Services: (804) 469-4524

Isle of Wight Co., VA Social Services: (757) 365-0880

Lunenburg Co., VA Social Services: (434) 696-2134

Surry Co., VA Social Services: (757) 294-5240

Sussex Co., VA Social Services: (434) 246-1083

ファッションコーディネート

Medicaid Expansion – What It Means For Emporia

Emporia, VA – Enrollment for new, low-cost health care coverage for eligible adults will commence in the Commonwealth of Virginia on Nov. 1.

Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam, MD, has announced that as the date when the state will begin accepting applications for coverage that takes effect Jan. 1, 2019. The best source for information about this new coverage is available at www.coverva.org. On that website, people can access an eligibility screening tool to determine if they are likely to qualify for coverage. Website visitors can sign up to receive regular e-mail or text message updates about new coverage and the enrollment process.

People can also call 1-855-242-8282 for more information. The information phone line for people who are hearing impaired is 1-888-221-1590.

New coverage for adults is available for men and women ages 19-64 who aren’t eligible for Medicare, and who meet income eligibility guidelines, which vary depending on family size. For example, a single adult who earns less than $16,754 in annual income may be eligible. The income threshold for an adult in a two-person household is $22,715. It is $28,677 for an adult in a three-person household, and $34,638 for an adult in a four-person household.

Earlier this year, the Virginia General Assembly and Governor Northam’s Administration achieved a bipartisan compromise to increase coverage for hard-working, low-income adults in Virginia. This coverage, also known as Medicaid expansion, is available under the provisions of the U.S. Affordable Care Act. Virginia elected officials brokered a fiscally-responsible deal that recovers the Commonwealth’s tax dollars, produces millions in state budget savings that free up funds for other important needs, will improve public health and the economy by supporting job growth, and will benefit Virginia taxpayers.

This plan has public support, with polling showing more than 80 percent of Virginians in favor of a coverage compromise, backing from dozens of local and regional chambers of commerce across the Commonwealth, and from the business and health care community. Private hospitals from throughout Virginia are even contributing financial support to help defray any costs the state may incur associated with increasing coverage access.

“When both sides of the aisle came together earlier this year to pass Medicaid expansion, the Commonwealth set a realistic, aggressive timeline for implementation and I’m proud to report the remarkable progress we’re making on these goals in close coordination with our federal partners,” Governor Northam said in a statement announcing Nov. 1 as the date when Virginia will begin accepting applications for expanded health coverage. “I encourage all Virginians to get acquainted with the new eligibility rules and learn how they and their family members qualify for access to quality health coverage.”

Virginia is one of 33 states that have expanded coverage eligibility for low-income adults. The compromise plan in Virginia includes reform provisions on work and personal responsibility so that people who benefit from the program are invested in their own health and success.

Enabling more people to gain health care coverage also means that people will be able to access timely care in an appropriate setting for their needs, so they can recover soon and go about their lives as productive, contributing members of society.

Right now, many people without insurance delay needed medical care for too long. Eventually, they end up in a hospital emergency room when their condition is much worse, the cost of care is much greater, and their recovery time is much longer. That is not an ideal circumstance for the patient, the health care provider, or the economy because that person is removed from the workforce, and the unpaid cost of their care ultimately gets passed on to taxpayers and consumers in the form of higher insurance rates.

Speaking about the new coverage program, Virginia Health and Human Resources Secretary Dr. Dan Carey, MD, noted that “thousands of Virginia adults will soon benefit from a comprehensive package of health services, including coverage for visits to primary and specialty care doctors, hospital stays and prescription medications. Individuals with chronic diseases will have access to the sustained care that is essential to maintain their health.”

This new coverage, Secretary Carey added, will also help Virginians who need behavioral health and addiction treatment as the Commonwealth continues to focus on improving mental health treatment and combating the opioid epidemic.

“This new coverage will help individuals across the Commonwealth like our friends, our neighbors, our caregivers, and the people we meet daily in coffee shops and restaurants,” said Dr. Jennifer Lee, MD, Director of the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. “It’s critically important that hard-working Virginians will have access to the health care they need to be productive in their jobs and to enjoy a high quality of life.

In Emporia and surrounding communities, as many as 3,300 local Virginians will be eligible to enroll in this new health care coverage. This year alone Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center (SVRMC) is on pace to exceed more than $4.3 Million in charity care.

Spencer Feldmann, MD with Southside Physicians Network (SPN) says, “Because of Medicaid Expansion, patients are more likely to get a primary care physician and get their medical needs met earlier before they become too acute.” All SPN physicians accept Medicaid. “In the long run the conversion to a more preventative medicine based approach is a win not only for the patient, but for the Emporia community.

The Nov. 1 start of the application period for coverage enrollment is days away. Virginia adults interested in learning more about this new health care coverage are encouraged to visit www.coverva.org. People can also call 1-855-242-8282 (or 1-888-221-1590 for hearing impaired people) for more information.

New Balance Mens Shoes

After Rally, House OKs Budget Expanding Medicaid

Legislators, Advocates Show Support for Medicaid Expansion

Expanding Medicaid Will Aid Schools, Governor Says

Citizen Groups Voice Concerns Over Medicaid Expansion

Senate Republicans Reject Medicaid Expansion

Editorial - Why don't we Expand Medicaid?

In the Capital News Service article above this Editorial, Republicans in a Senate Committee killed Medicaid Expansion. It is no surprise that this has happened - it has happened in each of the four years that I have been publishing Emporia News.

This year one of the bills to Expand medicaid was offered by a Republican, and the committee still killed it. Also this year one Republican, Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) cited the need to repair our crumbling infrastructure. Our infrastructure does need work. We have a great many rural communities that have insufficient Broadband Access; we have roads and bridges that need repaired; All interstate highways in the Commonwealth could use a few more lanes in places; Exit 11 is horrible, and needs to be colmpetely reworked to include acceleration and deceleration lanes (lets face it, getting from I-95 south to US58 East is sometimes a quite harrowing experience). With all of these needs, seemingly no major bills or budget amendments have deen offered. Infrastructure is a bit of an arbatrary term when speaking of legislation, but a quick glance at the LIS website shows no major bills of budget amendments for Transportation and the only place where Broadband Communications Infrastructure is mentioned seems to be a bill about how to mark highways during construction of those projects. Even with as random as the term infrastructure is, none of the bills where Senator Chase is listed as Chief Patron or Co-patron will have any impact on crumbling infrastructure.

Here is the impact of Medicaid Expansion in Colorado, my home state: "A new report examining the economic and budgetary impact of Medicaid expansion in Colorado reveals that, in the two years since implementation, expansion in the state has had a significant positive effect on the economy at no expense to the General Fund. According to the preliminary independent analysis, 'Assessing the Economic and Budgetary Impact of Medicaid Expansion in Colorado: FY 2015-16 through FY 2034-35,' Colorado has added 31,074 jobs, increased economic activity by $3.8 billion and raised annual household earnings by $643 due to the state Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. By fiscal year (FY) 2034-2035, Colorado is projected to add a total of 43,018 new jobs, increase economic activity by $8.5 billion and raise average annual household earnings by $1,033."

The Affordable Care Act included the funding to expand Medicaid, and by not accepting that funding, the hard-earned money of Virginia Taxpayers is being used to fund Medicaid Expansion in all the other states that have expanded their program.  Virginians gave states like New York 5 MILLION DOLLARS EACH DAY ($2,839,000,000 - that is Two Billion, Eight-Hundred Thirty-Nine Million Dollars) in the first year alone. Those losses in tax dollars are in addition to the lost economic activity mentioned in the preceding paragraph.

Expanding Medicaid in Virginia, which the Federal Government would pay for (100% now, 90% after 2020), would bring that money back to the Commonwealth, help rural hospitals and help poor families live better lives. Expanding Medicaid is the only Fiscally Responsible - the only Fiscally Conservative - option available to the General Assembly.

Don't read too much into my opinion here. I am not calling for completely re-inventing our current system, I am not saying that we need our own National Health Service like the one in the United Kingdom. All I am saying in this Editorial is that medicaid Expansion would be good for the Virginia Economy. By providing care via Medicaid we are, not only, helping our friends and neighbors get the care that many of them need but helping the Economy. Virginia has a larger population than Colorado (by about 3 Million people), so we stand to benefit even more than Colorado.  Even if there were only 100-150 jobs created in Emporia-Greensville and our economy were to expand by $10-15 Million, our community would be better off with Medicaid Expansion.

At a Town Hall Meeting here in Emporia, hosted by Senator Louise Lucas, a representative from Southampton Memorial Hospital, whose parent company also owns SVRMC, said that Medicaid Expansion would be a good thing for hospitals like SVRMC and that every hospital in the Commonwealth was in favor of Medicaid Expansion. At that August, 2014, meeting it was said that CHS would lose $1.7 Million over two years between Southampton Memorial and Southside Virginia RMC and would most likely see cuts in staffing and services - both of which we are seeing now. Monies that the Federal Government used to Expand Medicaid came from other indigent care programs. Without Expanding Medicaid, hospitals now absorb the cost of that indigent care, raising the cost of care for everyone else in the community, cut back services like birthing centers and surgical care - even sending patients to other hospitals for those services, or close up completely for lack of positive cash flow.

Expanding Medicaid would help more people than you think. In the spirit of full disclosure, I would, most likely) be one of them, as would anyone that makes less than $16,000 each year. Medicaid Expansion would help the "working poor" like those Restarurant Servers (who make $2.13 per hour, plus tips). Perhaps that fear the Republicans have, that feeling that the Federal Government would renege and suddenly stop paying for Medicaid stems from the fact that Republicans in the General Assembly did just that to every locality with a State Prison. The General Assembly agreed to a program called "Payment in Lieu of Taxes" to help those localities that lost parts of their property tax base (since the Commonwealth of Virginia does not pay Real Property Tax); The Republicans in the General Assembly broke their word to those communities (including Greensville County, Southampton County, Sussex County, Brunswick County, Nottoway County and Mecklenburg County) and stopped making those "Payments in Lieu of Taxes" after only one year.

Kobieta

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