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Summer Newsletter
  • CHIP Reauthorized
  • An Update on FAMIS Coverage for State Employees
  • New Outreach Materials
  • 2015 Enrollment Summit
  • New Child Health Insurance Program Manager at VHCF
  • Did You Know...
  • Latest Enrollment Numbers

CHIP Reauthorized

On April 16th, President Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA, now Public Law 114-10) which provides new federal funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2017. There are no major structural program changes to CHIP.  Without this Congressional action, no new CHIP funds would have been available beyond October 1, 2015 (Federal Fiscal Year 2016). In Virginia, CHIP funds pay for FAMIS, FAMIS MOMS, FAMIS Select and a portion of the children enrolled in the FAMIS Plus program. 

The Act also provides a 23 percentage point increase in each state's CHIP federal matching rate up to a maximum of 100%. Virginia's federal matching rate will go from a rate of 65 percent up to 88 percent on October 1.
In addition, the law adds $40 million for a fourth round of outreach and enrollment grants through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in FFY2016 and FFY2017.


An Update on FAMIS Coverage for State Employees

In January 2015 the bar restricting FAMIS eligibility for the dependents of state employees was removed and Virginia began enrolling eligible uninsured children of new and existing state employees. Since that time, DMAS has worked closely with the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management to inform state employees with insured children of the option to enroll them in FAMIS and the procedure to do so during open enrollment for the state's health insurance plan in May. As of June, 567 children have been enrolled in FAMIS and 10 pregnant women in FAMIS MOMS. In addition, as a result of the outreach efforts targeting these families, another 335 children were enrolled in FAMIS Plus and 8 women in Medicaid for Pregnant Women.


New Outreach Materials

A new Plan First brochure (click here to view) has been designed and is now available for online order via the CoverVirginia Website (click on "Partners" in the upper right corner of the site, then click on "Materials" and a listing of all items available for order and print-as-you-go items will appear.) In addition, a new marketing campaign for the FAMIS Programs will be unveiled in time for Back to School and should include TV/Radio advertisements, digital ads, Spanish newspaper ads, and printed materials.  In August, more than 1.5 million newly designed Back to School flyers will be sent to the 1,850 elementary, middle and high schools in the Commonwealth. A new FAMIS Free and Reduce Price Lunch insert was also created and will be distributed at the same time. 

2015 Enrollment Summit

On May 21st, the Virginia Health Care Foundation, with funding from the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services and with support from the Virginia Department of Social Services, hosted "Five Years After the ACA: Working Together to Enroll Families and Children in Medicaid and FAMIS", an Enrollment Summit in Richmond. Nearly 300 attendees included Local DSS Families and Children Eligibility Supervisors and Senior Workers, Cover Virginia Eligibility Supervisors, Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, In-Person Assisters, Community Health Education Specialists, and child advocates from across the Commonwealth who came together to network and hear several speakers with national and state-level perspectives.

If you are interested in the presentations given by the speakers at the event, watching Governor Terry McAuliffe's welcome video, or seeing photos from the day, you can access them at the Cover Virginia website here. Questions & Answers from a panel discussion will also be posted shortly.

New Child Health Insurance Program Manager at VHCF

Meet, Beth Nolan, VHCF's new Child Health Insurance Program Manager.  Beth, who grew up in Alexandria and graduated from James Madison University, comes to us from Vermont. Her Masters in Public Administration and past experience in child health policy and advocacy at Voices for Vermont's Children make her well suited to support and further VHCF's child health insurance initiatives - the Project Connect grant program and the SignUpNow training initiative. We are delighted to
have her as a part of the VHCF family!

Did You Know... 

  • That 1 in 4 Virginia children is covered by FAMIS Plus or FAMIS. 
  • That the state receives an average of 4,600 applications for the Medicaid and FAMIS programs each week.
  • That the Virginia Oral Health Coalition has a great page on the dental benefits for pregnant women with Medicaid coverage and FAMIS MOMS? Check it out here.

FAMIS Program Enrollment as of July 1, 2015:

  • 57,505 children were enrolled in FAMIS (including 123 in FAMIS Select);
  • 537,273 children were enrolled in FAMIS Plus (including 49,140 in the CHIP Medicaid Expansion);
  • 962 pregnant women were enrolled in FAMIS MOMS;
  • 16,919 pregnant women were enrolled in Medicaid for Pregnant Women; and
  • 103,654 men and women were enrolled in Plan First.
  • 561 former foster care youth are enrolled in Medicaid