SignUpNow Outreach
Communities Connecting Kids with Health Coverage
Spring 2009
Welcome to the Spring/Summer electronic edition of the SignUpNow Outreach Newsletter.  This issues includes highlighting the 2009 Child Health Champion, DMAS policy changes and new resources. The electronic edition allows us to be more timely with notification of policy changes and other newsworthy events. Please share the newsletter with colleagues and encourage them to register for SignUpNow Outreach.
In This Issue
2009 Child Health Champion
Displaced Workers? FAMIS can help!
DMAS Receives Grant to Maximize Enrollment
CHIPRA Causes Changes to Virginia's FAMIS Programs
SignUpNow Online Training
Smiles For Children Update
New Managed Care Resource Guide
2009 Child Health Champion

Pat McGlothlin, FAMIS Outreach Coordinator at the Cumberland Plateau Health District, was recognized as the Unsung Hero - Child Health Champion at the Virginia Health Care Foundation's 2009 Heroes in Healthcare Celebration. This award is given to an individual who has gone "above and beyond the call of duty" in the execution of his/her job related to assisting families with applying for and enrolling in Virginia's state-sponsored health insurance programs.

Known as energetic, always smiling and dedicated to helping others, Pat is relentless in her efforts to help parents enroll their children in the FAMIS programs and break down barriers to coverage.  From CPHD clinics to grocery stores, schools to Remote Area Medical outreach events, Pat goes where the people are, in order to help them enroll their children in coverage.  Whether she is traveling through snow and ice on winding mountain roads to reach families or providing education and application assistance during the midnight shift to employees who are being laid off, Pat is always available to families who need her assistance. Pat provides assistance to families who need health insurance as well as assistance to those families having difficulties in finding a provider. 
Her results speak for themselves: in five years, Pat McGlothlin has assisted more than 1,500 children with enrollment in Virginia's FAMIS programs.  Congratulations Pat!

Displaced Workers? FAMIS can help!

Do you work with families who have experienced a recent job loss? If so, FAMIS may be able to help. As more and more Virginians face the consequences of these very difficult economic times, the Virginia Health Care Foundation and Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services want to ensure that every eligible child is enrolled in health care coverage. Children of recently or soon-to-be laid off employees may be eligible for health care coverage through Virginia's FAMIS programs.

FAMIS also works with COBRA coverage. The children can be enrolled in the FAMIS programs allowing the parents to utilize COBRA for themselves and/or a spouse, thus making coverage more affordable.  FAMIS can also be used as a bridge until new employment and health insurance can be secured.
If you work with families impacted by the loss of employment, encourage them to contact the FAMIS Central Processing Unit at 877-86-FAMIS or their local Department of Social Services office.
In addition, Project Connect outreach projects are staffed and available in 42 Virginia localities. Project Connect outreach workers can help families complete the application paperwork; act as an advocate for families during the eligibility determination process; and once enrolled, assist the family with locating a health care provider in their community. For more information on Project Connect and the localities served, click here.
DMAS is "Maximizing Enrollment" 
Virginia is one of eight states who have received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for "Maximizing Enrollment for Kids", a four-year initiative to increase enrollment and retention of eligible children in the Medicaid and CHIP programs (known as the FAMIS programs in Virginia). This grant to Virginia's Department of Medical Assistance Services will provide funding and technical support to strengthen their eligibility and enrollment systems, policies, and procedures, and develop new strategies to maximize the enrollment of eligible children in the FAMIS programs. Part of Virginia's initiative will focus on the creation of a data warehouse to combine eligibility data with enrollment data to monitor enrollment trends and fully analyze the impact of policy changes on enrollees. Additional plans for improvement will be developed in the grant's first year, when a national panel of experts will evaluate Virginia's current programs and make recommendations for improvement. 
For more information on this initiative, go to

CHIPRA Causes Changes to Virginia's FAMIS Programs

As you know, President Obama signed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) into law in February. The new law is designed to provide coverage to significant numbers of uninsured children and to improve the quality of health care received by covered children. The most notable provision of this law reauthorizes the CHIP program, known as FAMIS in Virginia. This law provides for additional, stable funding for states and will allow Virginia to continue providing coverage for enrolled children and also provide additional coverage to the estimated 123,000 eligible, uninsured children in the Commonwealth. The law also contains provisions states can implement to cover additional children including special outreach and enrollment grants. For more information about CHIP Reauthorization including a summary of the law and links to the full text of the law, go to

Effective May 22, 2009, DMAS revised citizenship eligibility policies and procedures for the FAMIS Plus (Medicaid) and Medicaid for Pregnant Women Programs. An important provision in CHIPRA allows additional exemptions from the citizenship and identity requirements of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and requires all states to allow applicants "reasonable opportunity" to provide verification of citizenship and identity. Babies born to mothers who were eligible for Medicaid on the date of the baby's birth and individuals who are receiving Social Security benefits on the basis of a disability are exempt from verifying citizenship and identity.

Virginia has defined the reasonable opportunity period to coincide with the annual renewal of Medicaid eligibility. This will provide applicants with up to twelve months to provide documentation of their citizenship and identity. Upon application, if an individual applicant meets all other Medicaid eligibility requirements and declares he is a citizen, the applicant should be immediately enrolled giving him the reasonable opportunity period to provide citizenship and identity documentation. For more information on the policy changes, effective May 22, 2009, visit the Medicaid Policy Manual Transmittal #92 at
In addition to these policy changes, all applicants for FAMIS and FAMIS MOMS will also be required to provide documentation of citizenship and identity by January 1, 2010. Please stay tuned for additional guidance as changes occur with these programs.

SignUpNow Online Training
Do you have questions about eligibility for the FAMIS programs? Are you familiar with the verification documents required with an application submission? If you need a refresher, or have new staff who will be working with families, please visit the SignUpNow (SUN) On-line, On-Demand Training Modules. You no longer need to wait for a training to be held in  your community.  The SUN online training modules can be accessed by going to

SUN, an initiative of the Virginia Health Care Foundation, seeks to increase enrollment in Virginia state-sponsored health insurance programs for children and pregnant women. The SUN trainings, developed as collaboration with DMAS, provide in-depth information on the child health insurance application process. The training includes an overview of the FAMIS programs, current topics and changes to the programs, eligibility information, and comprehensive application assistance training. The training is designed for individuals and organizations, especially those working one-on-one with families, and those who are interested in learning how to assist families in completing the health insurance application for children and pregnant women.

As policy changes are made, the modules will be updated. We expect several changes in the coming months, so please visit the site often, and pass along the information to interested colleagues and partners. 

Smiles For Children Update

                                 Smiles For Children Smiles For Children Logowill be celebrating its four year anniversary on July 1, 2009. Since its inception in 2005, Smiles for Children has provided dental health care services to children enrolled in the FAMIS programs. Each year the program has grown, and Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 was no exception. More than 100,000 additional children were served in 2008 than when the program began in 2005. In addition, more children are actually using their dental coverage. Utilization of dental services for children aged 3-20 has increased from 29% in FY05 to 46% in FY08 (a 59% increase in utilization), and while there remain areas with too few dentists, there are now 1,188 individual dental providers in the Smiles For Children network, an increase of 568 new providers in four years!

Parents can locate a participating Smiles For Children provider in a variety of ways. There is an automated phone system through a single toll-free number, 1-888-912-3456 with the option of speaking with a representative. Communication is available in Spanish and English. Members can also locate Smiles For Children dental providers through the Doral Dental web site at or through the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services' web site at

If you have colleagues who would benefit from receiving SignUpNow Outreach, please forward this email to them and encourage them to subscribe to our mailing list. We look forward to providing additional information on children's health insurance in the near future.
Jen Johnson
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This newsletter is made possible with support from the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services
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New Managed Care Resource Guide

The DMAS Managed Care team has developed and published a Managed Care Resource Guide which is available on the DMAS Managed Care website at From the website, you are able to download the entire Resource Guide or just the section you need. The Resource Guide includes sections on MEDALLION, Medallion II, FAMIS, the Managed Care Helpline, customer service contact information, and medical case management programs. Check out this new resource today!