ALEXANDRIA, Va. — More than 300,000 Virginians have gained healthcare coverage since the Commonwealth expanded its Medicaid program to low-income adults in June 2018, Gov. Northam announced in Alexandria Wednesday.
More than 229,100 of those enrolled – nearly 75 percent – have since used their coverage for health care services like going to the doctor or filling a prescription.
“We have learned a great deal from our new members, including the financial struggles they faced before receiving coverage. Nearly two-thirds tell us that they were forced to go without needed medical care in the year before Medicaid expansion,” said Virginia Department of Medical Assistant Services Director Dr. Jennifer S. Lee.
“Our new members are proactively using their new coverage to address ongoing health challenges,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, MD. “Those include 33,000 members with hypertension, 18,800 with diabetes, 16,100 with substance use disorder and 3,300 with cancer. We can see that Medicaid expansion is addressing urgent health needs for these individuals.”
The new coverage is available to Virginians between the ages of 19 and 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 $17,237 may be eligible for coverage, while an adult in a three-person family with a total household annual income at or below $29,436 may be eligible.
Young adults between the ages of 19 and 34 have enrolled in the largest numbers, accounting for 45 percent of all newly enrolled members. 25 percent of all newly enrolled members reside in Central Virginia.
In June 2018, Governor Northam signed the two-year state budget that expanded eligibility for adults, enabling Virginia health care providers to receive $2.4 billion in federal funds over two years in return for medical services to new Medicaid members.
BY LIA TABACKMAN