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 In This Issue:
  • Starring...DMAS Winter Media Outreach!
  • Update: Policy Change Produces Good Results!
  • Good News for Non-Resident Kids and Pregnant Women!
  • New Expertise at VHCF
  • Health Insurance Marketplace - Open Enrollment Ends January 31!
  • A Fresh, New Look for Virginia's Managed Care Website
  • Smiles For Children Can Help Prevent Serious Health Risks
  • Application for Health Coverage to Get One Step Shorter
  • FAMIS Enrollment Update: January 1, 2017

Starring...DMAS Winter Media Outreach!

Be on the lookout for television, social media, and radio ads promoting the FAMIS programs! The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) will run a multimedia "Cold and Flu Season" campaign in January and February. 

Update: Policy Change Produces Good Results!

A new DMAS policy that went into effect in October was designed to keep newborns from losing FAMIS coverage on their first birthday via auto-cancellation. It is working well. 

As of December, 3,700 one-year-olds have retained coverage due to this policy change. Families of these one-year-olds will still need to complete a renewal application for coverage to continue.
Good News for Non-Resident Kids and Pregnant Women!
It is now easier for lawfully-residing children and pregnant women to qualify for the FAMIS programs! Effective September 2016, individuals who hold non-immigrant visas are considered U.S. "residents" when applying for Medicaid or the FAMIS programs. These "residents" will no longer have to sign a statement attesting to their intent to remain in the Commonwealth of Virginia beyond their visa.

Additionally, individuals admitted to the U.S. on non-immigrant visas (and individuals who do not intend to work in the U.S.) are no longer required to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) to receive coverage through the FAMIS programs.

New Expertise at VHCF

The Virginia Health Care Foundation welcomes Emily Roller as its new Child Health Insurance Program Manager. Prior to joining the VHCF Child Health team, Emily provided training and technical assistance to Virginia's Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Certified Application Counselors (CACs) at the Virginia Community Healthcare Association. Before that, Emily served as an outreach worker for the Virginia Health & Wellness Passport program.

Emily will be the new voice on the end of the SignUpNow hotline, 804-828-6062, and at SUN workshops. She can also be reached at

Health Insurance Marketplace - Open Enrollment Ends January 31!

Now is the time for Virginians to enroll in quality, affordable, private health insurance through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace! After January 31, 2017, individuals can only obtain Marketplace insurance with a special enrollment period (SEP) due to a qualifying life event like marriage, birth of a child, or loss of other health coverage. For more information about enrollment through the Marketplace, or to find a local Navigator or CAC to help with an application, check out , or .

Enrollment in the Medicaid and FAMIS programs occurs year-round.

A Fresh, New Look for Virginia's Managed Care Website

Do you need to assist your clients with information about Medicaid Managed Care? Virginia's online resource center for Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) has a new look! Head to the Virginia Medicaid Managed Care website to figure out which MCOs serve your locality or region, and to find your service area's annual Open Enrollment Period. You can check out the redesigned Virginia Medicaid Managed Care website here .

Smiles For Children Can Help Prevent Serious Health Risks

Children who do not visit the dentist are at risk for long-lasting health consequences. Tooth decay is one of the most common preventable diseases seen in children. Children as young as 12-18 months can get cavities, causing pain. This may prevent them from eating, speaking, sleeping, and learning properly.

The truth is that nearly all dental disease is preventable. However, too often children do not get necessary preventive care - things like cleanings, X-rays, and fluoride. This not only leaves them at risk for serious dental disease, but it can also impact their overall health. Research has linked dental disease to diabetes, asthma, and other chronic conditions. 

The great news is that the 835,000 children who are enrolled in Virginia's FAMIS programs have dental coverage through the Smiles For Children program. In state fiscal year 2016, 430,000 of them went to the dentist. Read more here.

Application for Health Coverage to Get One Step Shorter

The paper Application for Health Coverage & Help Paying Costs (streamlined, federal application for Medicaid, FAMIS, and coverage through the Marketplace) will be one step simpler beginning in 2017. 

Step 7, entitled "Consent to Share User Profile Information," will disappear. State agencies are now allowed to share clients' information using the Virginia Information Technologies Agency's (VITA's) Enterprise Data Management (EDM) system, which includes the Department of Motor Vehicles and other state agencies, without this additional permission. 

This is another step the Commonwealth is taking to make applying for the FAMIS programs easier for families.

FAMIS Program Enrollment as of January 1, 2017:
  • 112,497 children were enrolled in FAMIS (including 52,108 in the CHIP Medicaid Expansion)
  • 483,684 children were enrolled in FAMIS Plus
  • 1,041 pregnant women were enrolled in FAMIS MOMS
  • 15,360 pregnant women were enrolled in Medicaid for Pregnant Women

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Smiles For Children provides comprehensive dental benefits to members under 21 years of age, limited benefits to adults ages 21 and up, and medically appropriate dental benefits to pregnant members over age 20. The Smiles For Children program gives coverage for the care they need. It includes:
  • Regular dental checkups (every six months)
  • X-rays (when necessary)
  • Cleaning and fluoride (every six months)
  • Sealants
  • Information and education about oral care
  • Space maintainers
  • Braces (if necessary)
  • Anesthesia
  • Extractions
  • Root canal treatment
  • Crowns
If you work with children in the FAMIS programs, you can help them use the Smiles For Children dental program and possibly avoid serious dental disease.

Help children get started with dental care.
The first step is to get them an appointment with a dentist. Finding a dentist who accepts Smiles For Children is easy - members can call a toll-free number or use the Smiles for Children website.
  • Option 1: Call 1-888-912-3456. The call center is available 8am-6pm Monday-Friday, and can even help the member make an appointment!
  • Option 2: Visit the website at
When they call to make an appointment, members should be sure to tell the dental office that this child is a Smiles For Children member.  Remind them that on the day of the appointment, they should be sure to bring their child's Medicaid card (either the blue and white card, or their MCO ID card).

Questions? Need Help?
If you have questions about the Smiles For Children program, please contact Jackie Wake, State Outreach Coordinator, at She can also provide you with a list of dentists in your area who accept Smiles For Children members.