More people in Virginia have had access to healthcare coverage since the beginning of the year. The Commonwealth joined 32 other states in expanding Medicaid coverage, giving more adults between the ages of 19 and 64 access to quality low-cost and no-cost health insurance.
The state's Medicaid office has been working with hospitals, advocates for the poor, insurance companies and others to help enroll the newly eligible into Medicaid. Coverage started on New Year’s Day. On December 28, Governor Ralph Northam announced that more than 200,000 adults were now enrolled and would have healthcare coverage beginning on January 1.
Governor Northam argued that not only would expansion help the uninsured, but it would help the state financially as the federal government is picking up the bulk of the cost. Virginia splits its Medicaid costs with the federal government 50-50, but the state will pay no more than 10 percent of expansion costs. Opponents have argued that Medicaid expansion was fiscally irresponsible because the long-term costs were unsustainable.
Who is covered?
Since the beginning of the year, childless adults with an annual income of $ 16,754 or below are newly eligible and the income thresholds for other eligible Virginians have gone up considerably.
State government officials, insurance companies and care providers now expect to see tens of thousands of newly covered patients. According to news station WSLS, “officials are hopeful that having more people with health insurance—coupled with a new law giving greater autonomy to nurse practitioners—will lead to more clinics and practices in rural parts of the state that lack access to healthcare.”
Medicaid expansion is expected to provide care to an additional 400,000 people in Virginia. It covers behavioral health services including addiction and recovery treatment services. According to the Virginia Department of Health, the focus is on quality and holistic care for individuals. “Even if you have a pre-existing condition and you meet the age, financial, and other eligibility requirements, you can be covered. The rules have changed—past denials may be eligible now!”
You can check your eligibility with this online screening tool.
The Pavilion at Williamsburg Place is a 66-bed state-of-the-art hospital offering psychiatric care to adults and older adults. Due to the Medicaid expansion, it may now be able to offer its progressive treatment programs to more patients.
The Pavilion provides assistance to eligible patients through payment plans, a lending program, and financial counseling. These services are reviewed and initiated with eligible patients, as appropriate, at the point of or after admission.