SignUpNow Outreach
Communities Connecting Kids with Health Coverage 
Summer 2013

Welcome to the Summer edition of the SignUpNow Outreach eNewsletter. SignUpNow (SUN) is an initiative of the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) that is focused on increasing enrollment of eligible uninsured children in Virginia's FAMIS programs.

In This Issue
2013 Child Health Champion
VHCF Awarded CHIPRA Cycle III Funding
New VHCF Staff
Marketplace Materials Available
Enrollment Facts

2013 Child Health Champion

Iris Treakle received the Virginia Health Care Foundation's  Unsung Hero Child Health Champion Award at its 2013 Heroes in Health Care celebration June 7, at Richmond CenterStage. Virginia Supreme Court Justice William C. Mims presented Iris with the award. C. Burke King, President of Virginia Market, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, delivered a $2,000 contribution from the Virginia Association of Health Plans to the David B. Nichols Health Center on Tangier Island in Iris' honor.

As one resident said, "What Iris has done to help the children and residents of Tangier Island is nothing short of miraculous. Her generosity and sense of purpose know no bounds!"


See a short video about the amazing impact Iris has made for the people of Tangier Island.

VHCF Awarded CHIPRA Cycle III Funding

The Virginia Health Care Foundation has been awarded a two-year federal grant of $999,993 to help identify children from low-income families who qualify for Virginia's FAMIS programs and assist them in enrolling in coverage.


The funding was part of $32 million in CHIPRA Cycle III grants awarded to 41 agencies and organizations in 22 states by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "Today's grants will ensure that more children across the nation have access to the quality health care they need," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. With the money, organizations will step up their efforts to find children who qualify for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Over 320 organizations applied.


The outreach comes as Virginia prepares to begin enrollment this fall in an online marketplace for subsidized insurance, one of the provisions of the new federal health care law.

The nearly $1 million awarded to VHCF will enable VHCF to: expand the reach of its existing Project Connect network of by adding six Application Assistors (AAs) in areas of the state with high levels of eligible uninsured children; create a statewide network of application assistance centers within Virginia's Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs); develop a local network for application assistance among Lay Health Promoters in metro Richmond; and establish a FAMIS Application Assistance Resource Center.

New VHCF Staff

Kate HonsbergerKate Honsberger, formerly Maximizing Enrollment Grant Coordinator in the Division of Child and Maternal Health at the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, began as the new Child Health Insurance Program Manager at VHCF on June 27th. She replaced Polly Raible who left the Foundation after three and a half years to become Director of Service Excellence at Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center in Midlothian, VA.


Kate brings a wealth of knowledge regarding the FAMIS programs, and has been integrally involved in planning for the many changes related to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in Virginia. In her new position she will oversee the Foundation's Project Connect outreach program and SignUpNow training and will strive to ensure that all children are enrolled in health coverage with affordable access to care. 

Marketplace Materials Available - is the official website for consumers to get information and apply (after October 1st) for Health Insurance through the Marketplace. A great user friendly site to direct people to with basic and complex health coverage questions. There's also important information on to explain options for getting coverage right away,outside the Marketplace. But keep in mind that if you buy insurance before the Marketplace opens on October 1, some protections and benefits won't apply yet. You can also sign up for email and text alerts to stay up to date on the Health Insurance Marketplace. - is a tool that illustrates health insurance premiums and subsidies for people purchasing insurance on their own the Health Insurance Marketplace. Beginning in October 2013, low to middle income people under age 65, who are not eligible for coverage through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare, can receive premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies to help them afford private health insurance coverage. With this calculator, you can enter different income levels, ages, and family sizes to get an estimate of your eligibility for subsidies and how much you could spend on health insurance. As premiums and eligibility requirements may vary, contact your state's Medicaid office or exchange with enrollment questions. - is the official website for professionals to learn about the Marketplace and helping people apply. The site includes general training presentations, marketing materials, website widgets and an opportunity to sign up for email updates. 

Enrollment Facts

FAMIS Program Enrollment as of July 1, 2013 (most recent data available):

  • 64,201 children are enrolled in FAMIS;
  • 528,378 children are enrolled in FAMIS Plus;
  • 1,613 pregnant women are enrolled in FAMIS MOMS;
  • 16,265 pregnant women are enrolled in Medicaid for Pregnant Women; and
  • 39,803 men and women are enrolled in Plan First.
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 by clicking on the "Join our Mailing List" button. We look forward to providing additional information on children's health insurance in the near future.

Kim Bemberis & Kate Honsberger
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This newsletter is made possible with support from the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services
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