On September 8, Governor McAuliffe announced A Healthy Virginia — a ten-part plan to increase access to health care for 200,000 underserved Virginians through a series of emergency regulations and an executive order. Among the steps, A Healthy Virginia will extend comprehensive dental benefits to approximately 45,000 pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid and FAMIS in the commonwealth. Specifically:
Governor McAuliffe is directing the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to issue emergency regulations to provide comprehensive dental coverage to 45,000 pregnant women in Medicaid and FAMIS.
This emergency action recognizes the integral relationship between oral health and overall health and, as A Healthy Virginia states:
Currently, Virginia has 45,000 pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid and FAMIS MOMS. Without access to comprehensive dental care, these women risk having dental health issues go undiagnosed and untreated, needlessly putting their unborn babies in jeopardy. A pregnant woman's oral health is linked to her delivery, her baby's health, and even the costs to Virginia's Medicaid and FAMIS programs.
The ten steps the Governor outlined this morning are:
• Step 1: Covering people with serious mental illness
• Step 2: Improve the coordination of care for adults and children who are already covered by Medicaid and have a serious mental illness
• Step 3: Sign up more Virginians for the Federal Marketplace, Medicaid, and FAMIS
• Step 4: Open up FAMIS for eligible state workers to insure their children
• Step 5: Provide dental benefits to pregnant women in Medicaid and FAMIS
• Step 6: Launch an innovative new website to inform Virginians of their coverage options and help them enroll
• Step 7: Accelerating access to quality health care for our veterans
• Step 8: Take bold actions to reduce deaths from prescription drug and heroin abuse
• Step 9: Aggressively pursue Federal grants that can bring new dollars into Virginia for health care
You can find more information about oral health and pregnancy on the Coalition's website.