‘A Long Time Coming’: After Years Of Strife, Virginia’s Medicaid Expansion To Kick Off In November
The state's General Assembly voted earlier this year to add up to 400,000 uninsured, low-income Virginians to the state’s Medicaid rolls after a deal was struck over work requirements. Republican resistance in the state has long stymied advocates' efforts to expand the program. Meanwhile, other states that haven't approved expansion yet might have to bend to the will of their voters if ballot measures pass.
The Associated Press:
Virginia To Start Accepting New Medicaid Applications
Virginia is set to start accepting enrollment applications from the roughly 400,000 low-income adults newly eligible for Medicaid. Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday that the state would begin accepting applications on Nov. 1 for new coverage that will begin at the start of 2019. (10/18)
The Washington Post:
Enrollment In Va.’s Expanded Medicaid Program Starts Nov. 1
“It was a long time coming, but we’re glad it’s here,” Northam (D) said at a state office building in Richmond. “I really believe that we can be leaders in Virginia and show the rest of the country how to move forward.” As Medicaid-expansion states go, Virginia is bringing up the rear, signing on long after most states that opted to enlarge the federal-state insurance program for the poor. Northam appeared to be referring to the bipartisan compromise that finally made expansion possible after years of GOP resistance. (Vozzella, 10/18)
Virginia To Begin Accepting Applications For Newly Expanded Medicaid On Nov. 1
As part of a compromise with Republicans, the state is also applying for work requirements for Medicaid recipients, but that approval application to the federal government is still working its way through the process. Democrats are hoping that there is new momentum for Medicaid expansion in some of the remaining 17 states that have so far rejected the idea. (Sullivan, 10/18)
November Elections Bring High Stakes For Medicaid
The midterm elections could bring sweeping changes to Medicaid, from possible eligibility expansions to new rules requiring low-income people to work, depending on voters' choices for governors' offices and state legislatures across the country. Medicaid covers more people than any other federally funded health program. Medicaid expansion advocates are optimistic that voters in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah will pass ballot initiatives to broaden coverage, buoyed by strong polling numbers and the fact that petitions in those states to force ballot votes garnered tens of thousands of more signatures than needed. (Williams, 10/19)
In other Medicaid news —
As Billions In Tax Dollars Flow To Private Medicaid Plans, Who’s Minding The Store?
With no insurance through his job, Jose Nuñez relied on Medicaid, the nation’s public insurance program that assists 75 million low-income Americans. Like most people on Medicaid, the Los Angeles trucker was assigned to a private insurance company that coordinated his medical visits and treatment in exchange for receiving a set fee per month — an arrangement known as managed care. (Terhune, 10/18)