Medicaid expansion starts soon in Virginia

After a multi-year battle in Richmond, a lot more Virginians will soon be eligible for Medicaid coverage.

Earlier this year the General Assembly voted to increase Medicaid registrations by some 400,000 people. On Thursday Governor Northam announced that sign-ups will begin November 1 for Medicaid coverage that will start January 1.

“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,” the governor said in a news release. “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.”

The coverage includes visits to primary and specialty care doctors, hospital stays, prescription medications and more. It’s 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 $16,754 may be eligible for coverage. An adult in a three-person family with a total household annual income at or below $28,677 may be eligible. You can get more information, and check to see if you’re eligible, here.

When the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, passed in 2010, it allowed states to open their Medicaid rolls to people with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Many states expanded their rolls ahead of Virginia and the commonwealth is now catching up.

“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,” says Virginia’s Health and Human Resources Secretary Dr. Daniel Carey. “Individuals with chronic diseases will have access to the sustained care that is essential to maintain their health. Virginians requiring behavioral health and addiction treatment will be connected to a robust array of services. It is exciting and fulfilling to share in the joy that so many of our citizens express as they look forward to realizing their hope for better health.”



About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.