Health coverage will soon be changing for many Virginia residents.
Members of the public received details about Medicaid expansion, which begins on November 1.
The topic was discussed at a Policy Committee meeting the Prince William Chamber of Commerce held on Wednesday.
Many people have been denied full coverage under Medicaid, according to Holly Handy, a Benefits Program Manager at the Prince William County Department of Social Services.
The rules, however, have changed.
“Those that were in the age bracket of 19 to 64, we were only offering limited Medicaid coverage to those individuals, and that was based on their age and an income guideline,” Handy said. “But now, we are excited to say over 400,000 people in the state of Virginia are potentially eligible for a full-coverage health insurance program.”
Full coverage Medicaid can be used for prescriptions and several services, including emergencies, home health and behavioral health.
It doesn’t include dental or health insurance.
“Only children and pregnant women are offered dental insurance in the state of Virginia,” Handy said. “So, I know we still have many people that have dental problems and elderly people that need eye glasses. So, we would still have to use other resources in the community to provide those needs.”
When looking over applications, officials will consider citizenship status, income, and the number of people in a household.
Once an individual has been named eligible for Medicaid, they will receive a card containing their identification number and an information packet.
Within 60 days of being approved, they must choose one of six available Managed Care Organization (MCO) providers — Aetna, Anthem, Magellan Health, Virginia Premier, UnitedHealthcare, and Optima Health.
It’s important, Handy explained, that Medicaid applicants make their selection carefully.
“What I’m trying to do, in trying to encourage our partners in the community, is when clients get these letters in the mail from the state that they really take the time and figure out what doctors they have been seeing or that they anticipate seeing, and match them up with the MCO that is associated with them,” Handy said.
More information about Medicaid and how to apply is available online.
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