Virginia Will Expand Medicaid to 300,000 Virginians

On May 30, Virginia legislature voted to expand Medicaid coverage eligibility to more than 300,000 Virginians by raising the eligible income threshold to just over $16,000 for an individual and $28,000 for parents in a family of three. Hundreds of thousands of Virginians will now have access to affordable health and mental health services, and a very limited dental benefit.

After lots of passionate floor speeches, both legislative chambers passed a budget that will expand Medicaid eligibility by directing the state's Department of Medical Assistance Services to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on two tracks: 1) an immediate state plan amendment (SPA) which will notify CMS of Virginia's intent to expand Medicaid eligibility and draw down federal funds; and, 2) a federal waiver application to add work requirements, cost-sharing, and other modifications to the Medicaid program.

In addition to Medicaid expansion, the budget uses a mix of federal expansion dollars and assessments (taxes) on hospitals to fund raises for state workers, and fund education and economic development initiatives. The vote came after Delegate Jones and Senator Hanger proposed a bipartisan budget compromise that both the House and Senate could support. 

Thank you…To our legislators who voted for the health and well-being of Virginians, and to our partners for your nonstop advocacy as we strive together to create a healthier Virginia for all. The Virginia Oral Health Coalition will continue working toward comprehensive adult dental benefits in Medicaid and systemic solutions to increase access to care. But for today, we say thanks!

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Sarah Bedard Holland