Comprehensive Medicaid Adult Dental Benefit Has Arrived!
Beginning July 1, Smiles for Children will also provide comprehensive dental benefits to Virginia adults enrolled in Medicaid! For additional details, see the flyer from DentaQuest here.

To find a dentist, adults covered by Medicaid can call Smiles For Children at 1-888-912-3456 (8am – 6pm Monday – Friday). A representative can even help members make an appointment Members can also visit to find a dentist.

Introducing FAMIS Prenatal!
Effective July 1, 2021, a new FAMIS category, FAMIS Prenatal, will cover all income-eligible uninsured pregnant women, regardless of their immigration status. Women in households with incomes at or below 205% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) can now qualify to have full coverage for the duration of their pregnancies and 60 days postpartum, even if they do not have legal immigration status. Here are some important FAQs:
  • What benefits are available through FAMIS Prenatal? Women covered by FAMIS Prenatal have access to full, comprehensive benefits, including: doctor visits, lab services, prescription drugs, hospitalization, dental care, behavioral health services, and more. Labor and delivery are covered, as well as all prenatal services.

  • How do I apply for FAMIS Prenatal? The application for FAMIS Prenatal is the same as for other Medicaid/FAMIS programs. It can be completed online at, by phone via Cover Virginia at 855.242.8282, or on paper and mailed or dropped off at the applicant’s local Department of Social Services.

  • Can I be eligible for FAMIS Prenatal even if I have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status? YES! FAMIS Prenatal will extend coverage to pregnant women who were previously ineligible due to their immigration status. DACA recipients and women who are undocumented may qualify for FAMIS Prenatal.

  • Where can I find out more about FAMIS Prenatal? The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) has created a Fact Sheet. DMAS also held a stakeholder meeting in late June, which was recorded. To view it, go to
Longtime Medicaid/FAMIS Advocate Retires
This summer, health care advocates and policymakers alike will bid “happy trails” to Jill Hanken, a Medicaid guru and tireless longtime proponent for health coverage for all Virginians, as she retires after nearly 40 years with the Virginia Poverty Law Center.

Jill is widely known for leading the charge to convince Virginia’s lawmakers to expand Medicaid coverage to adults in households with incomes up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level. Long before that, Jill helped build the coalition that successfully persuaded Virginia to adopt the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), now known as the FAMIS Program. Together, these two programs provide comprehensive health insurance to almost 650,000 Virginians!

When no other organization would step up to lead a Navigator program in Virginia to help uninsured individuals apply for private coverage from the federal Marketplace, Jill took on the job and created the ENROLL Virginia! Navigator program in 2013. She has led it ever since training and deploying Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, and local legal aid attorneys in the nuances and fine points of Marketplace coverage. Jill has also taught legal aid attorneys on a host of Medicaid laws, rules and regulations throughout the years, equipping them to effectively advocate for the most vulnerable Virginians. 
We will all miss Jill’s depth of knowledge, tenacity, and can-do spirit. In her parting address to the enrollment assister community, Jill said, “I know we tell our kids, ‘life isn’t fair,’ but when it comes to healthcare, it should be.”
To honor her work, the Virginia Poverty Law Center and Hanken’s close friends and colleagues are establishing the Jill A. Hanken Scholarship Fund dedicated to training health law advocates in Virginia’s legal aid community. More information about the Fund can be found at

Coverage for Undocumented Children Being Considered
At the direction of the General Assembly, Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources has convened a workgroup to examine how to best provide health services to undocumented children. The workgroup is comprised of representatives from state agencies, physician groups, advocates, and other key stakeholders. It is reviewing actions in other states, analyzing data on the number of children affected and determining the costs of covering them. It is also collecting stories of children who cannot qualify for Medicaid (due to not having legal immigration status), but who need the coverage.

If you know of a child who needs Medicaid, but is unable to qualify due to not having legal immigration status, please share it here. Please do not include any personally-identifiable information or personal health information. Stories are for workgroup purposes only, and will not be published without consent.
Coming Soon: Back-to-School!
Childhood Vaccinations Key to Healthy Return to School
As Virginia emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccinating adults and eligible children against COVID-19 is top-of-mind. But, other vaccinations are just as important to protect children…and some of them are now legally required by the state before kids can return to school. Take a look at this one-page guide from the American Academy of Pediatrics – Virginia Chapter on what vaccines are now required for students in Virginia.

And, if you or a loved one has not yet gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, learn how to get your COVID-19 vaccine at, or call 1-877-VAX-INVA (1-877-829-4682) (TTY: 711), from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Language services are available.

Cover Virginia Launches Back-to-School Campaign
Be on the lookout for the Back-to-School page on the Cover Virginia website (, beginning in July. The page will include a flyer developed in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to promote Medicaid/FAMIS, and other key information about how to connect children with Medicaid/FAMIS during the back-to-school timeframe.

Medicaid Payment for Non-IEP School Health Services
Begining with the 2022-23 school year, Virginia Medicaid will pay for a broader range of school-based health services, even those provided outside of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This expansion will include school nursing and mental health services provided to children enrolled in Medicaid, among other things. Stay tuned for additional details!

Preview of Coming Attractions: New Doula Benefit Coming Soon!
Women enrolled in Medicaid for Pregnant Women (MPW) or FAMIS MOMS will soon have access to doula services! Covered services will include: up to 8 visits with a doula before the birth, a doula’s attendance at the birth, and up to 2 linkage-to-care payments. The doula benefit is expected to be implemented in 2022.

SignUpNow Training Available LIVE and On-Demand!
Did you know that SignUpNow workshops are available both live and on-demand? The on-demand workshops consist of the same content as the live trainings, broken down into 20-30-minute modules.

SignUpNow teaches the “ins and outs” of the eligibility requirements, application procedures, and post-enrollment information for Virginia’s Medicaid/FAMIS programs:
  • New Adult Coverage
  • Programs for children and pregnant women
  • Plan First (family planning)
  • Low Income Families with Children (LIFC) program
  • Medicaid for Former Foster Care Youth

To register for a training, go to

Have a question about Medicaid/FAMIS eligibility, or about SignUpNow? Email, or call 804-828-6062.

New Income Guidelines for Low-Income Families with Children (LIFC)
Effective July 1, the LIFC income guidelines will be updated. Please see the income chart here for the new guidelines.

Enrollment in Medicaid/FAMIS
As of June 1, 2021, there were:
  • 555,223 Virginians enrolled in the New Health Coverage for Adults
  • 80,759 children enrolled in FAMIS, and 690,030 children enrolled in FAMIS Plus
  • 22,760 pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid for Pregnant Women, and 1,701 enrolled in FAMIS MOMS
  • 139,518 parents or caretaker relatives enrolled in LIFC
  • 1,967 young adults enrolled in Medicaid for Former Foster Care youth
  • 46,728 adults enrolled in PlanFirst