SignUpNow Outreach
Communities Connecting Kids with Health Coverage 
Fall 2013

Welcome to the Fall 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
SignUpNow is Updated and Going on the Road!
New Project Connect Outreach Workers
Changes Coming to FAMIS MOMS & Plan First
New Resources
New Northern Virginia MCO
Enrollment Facts

SignUpNow is Updated and Going on the Road!

As of October 1, 2013 there are big changes in eligibility rules and application processing for State-Sponsored Health Insurance for Children and Pregnant Women. The SignUpNow (SUN) trainings and the Tool Kit have been completely updated with these changes. Even if you have attended one of the SUN workshops before, it is worth it to attend again and learn about new ways to apply for coverage and how eligibility is now being determined. We will be conducting our free comprehensive workshop entitled "State-Sponsored Health Insurance for Children and Pregnant Women" on the following dates:

  • Woodbridge - November 21 from 9:30AM to 1PM

  • Abingdon - December 4 from 9AM to 12:30PM
  • Roanoke - December 5 from 9AM to 12:30PM
  • Richmond - December 9 from 9AM to 12:30PM
  • Virginia Beach - December 19 from 9:30AM to 1PM

For more information about the exact locations of the trainings, who should attend, and registration links go to: Can't make any of these dates? There will be additional trainings scheduled early next year, so stay tuned for those dates.


Also, the updated 14th edition of the SignUpNow Tool Kit has been published and can be downloaded at: It includes updated information on the new eligibility rules and processes in Virginia due to the Affordable Care Act. 


The SignUpNow ondemand, online training curriculum  is being updated and will be available soon. When available, these trainings may be accessed at:

Five New Project Connect Outreach Workers

VHCF and its grantees have hired 5 new Project Connect Outreach Workers with funding from the recently awarded Connecting Kids to Coverage grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These outreach workers will assist families with completing the application process for Medicaid and FAMIS for children and pregnant women. The new outreach workers are concentrated in areas with high rates of eligible but uninsured children. Their contact information and the localities they serve are listed below.


Ann Walker (276) 732-0509 at the Martinsville/Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness is serving the families of: Martinsville City and the counties of Henry and Patrick


Victoria Johnson (757) 478-0396 at The Planning Council is helping families in Newport News and Hampton.


Ann Brown (757) 469-4436 at The Planning Council is assisting families from Virginia Beach.


Natalie Diaz-Taylor (804) 955-9578 at the Virginia Health Care Foundation is helping families in Richmond city and the counties of Henrico and Chesterfield. Natalie also speaks Spanish.


Last, Inova Partnership for Healthier Kids is working with Prince William County Schools to assist families with applying for coverage. Its worker will start in mid-November.


Please feel free to refer families to these outreach workers for help with applying for the FAMIS programs.

Changes to FAMIS MOMS & the Plan First Programs

As a result of language in the Budget following the 2013 General Assembly Session, the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services will be ending the FAMIS MOMS program and reducing the eligibility level in the Plan First program from 211% FPL down to 100% FPL. The people formerly covered by these programs will now be eligible for coverage through the new Federal Health Insurance Marketplace.


New enrollments will only be accepted for FAMIS MOMS coverage through December 31, 2013. Women with FAMIS MOMS eligibility beginning on or prior to December 31, 2013, shall retain eligibility for the duration of their coverage period (through the end of their pregnancies and 60-days postpartum). Babies born to FAMIS MOMS enrollees will continue to be deemed eligible for coverage.


DMAS will reduce the Plan First program eligibility income level to the lowest level of Marketplace coverage (100% FPL) on January 1, 2014. Since Virginia has not pursued Medicaid Expansion for adults, Plan First coverage will still be available to those who are below the Exchange coverage level.

New Resources  
Cover Virginia Logo


The Cover Virginia website - is the official DMAS webpage offering information about the Medicaid, FAMIS and Plan First programs. It provides eligibility, application, and benefit information and includes an online screening tool that lets visitors input information to find out what health insurance options they might be eligible for. The website also provides direct access to the CommonHelp online application as well as detailed information on all of the ways to apply. More than 13,000 people have visited since it launched on October 1.


On October 1, 2013, the Cover Virginia Call Center (CVCC) (855) 242-8282 (toll-free) became operational in Virginia to respond to inquiries about the impact of the ACA on Virginians and to accept telephonic applications for the Medicaid and FAMIS programs only. Applications submitted through the Call Center are then sent electronically to the appropriate local Department of Social Services office for eligibility determination. The Cover Virginia Call Center is open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 7PM and on Saturdays from 9AM to 12PM. The Call Center is an especially good resource for families whose first language is not English. It has bilingual English-Spanish Customer Service Representatives on site, as well as access to a language line that can provide interpreter services in many other languages.


Some Key Statistics for the first month of operation:

  • Total Calls Received by CVCC = 24,536
  • Total Applications Submitted through CVCC = 7,207

Other Helpful Websites:


Enroll Virginia! is a nonpartisan, community-based effort to educate all Virginians about the new health insurance marketplace and provide free, unbiased assistance with the new application and enrollment process. Enroll Virginia's statewide toll-free phone system at (888) 392-5132 and website will help Virginians connect to a person who is able to provide one-on-one assistance in their communities. The website is a collaborative project which also provides information about other Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, and other trusted organizations that will help Virginians apply for health coverage. - is the official website for consumers to get information and apply for Health Insurance through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace. This online application process will determine if applicants are eligible for tax credits or cost-sharing subsidies to help make private coverage more affordable. Applicants on will also be screened for Medicaid/CHIP eligibility and if determined to be likely eligible for these state programs will have their applications electronically transferred to Virginia for a final eligibility determination. This website also outlines the many reforms to the insurance industry that go into effect due to the Affordable Care Act. also has a Call Center that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be reached by calling (800) 318-2596.

New MCO in Virginia - Kaiser Permanente

Since November 1, 2013, Medicaid and FAMIS enrollees in Northern Virginia have another option for their Managed Care Organization (MCO) - Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser is available to enrollees in the following localities: the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, and the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William.


Medicaid/FAMIS Plus Enrollees:

New enrollees will have this new choice now. Current enrollees will have this plan as an option (along with Anthem and INTotal Health) when open enrollment happens in the area from July 1 through August 31, 2014. For more information about the heath plans available to Medicaid and FAMIS Plus enrollees, visit or call (800) 643-2273.


FAMIS Enrollees:

New enrollees into FAMIS and FAMIS MOMS will have Kaiser as a choice now. Existing FAMIS enrollees will have Kaiser as an option (along with Anthem and INTotal Health) at annual renewal of coverage. For more information about the health plans available to FAMIS enrollees visit and look under "Health Plans" or call (855) 242-8282. 

Enrollment Facts

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

  • 63,948 children are enrolled in FAMIS;
  • 526,023 children are enrolled in FAMIS Plus;
  • 1,595 pregnant women are enrolled in FAMIS MOMS;
  • 16,291 pregnant women are enrolled in Medicaid for Pregnant Women; and
  • 41,279 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
Join Our Mailing List
Our Sponsor
This newsletter is made possible with support from the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services
Quick Links