Registration Open for Fall SignUpNow Workshops!
SignUpNow is on the road!  SignUpNow teaches the “ins and outs” of the eligibility requirements, application procedures, and post-enrollment information for Virginia’s Medicaid and FAMIS programs:
  • New Medicaid health insurance for adults
  • Programs for children and pregnant women (the FAMIS programs)
  • Low Income Families with Children (LIFC) program
  • Medicaid for Former Foster Care Youth (FFC)
  • Plan First (family planning)

SignUpNow participants will be able to educate and provide hands-on assistance to those who want to apply for or renew health insurance through Medicaid/FAMIS.

Even if you’ve attended a SignUpNow training in the past, this fall’s training contains new information…so, sign up again!

Check out to find a training workshop near you! 
“Healthy Birthday, Virginia!” Promotes Health for Babies and New Moms
The Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services ( DMAS) announced a new initiative this summer aimed at eliminating maternal mortality among Virginia Medicaid members by 2025. The initiative, called “Healthy Birthday, Virginia,” aims to make sure that Virginia’s babies get to spend their first birthdays with their moms. This is part of Governor Northam’s recently announced goal to eliminate racial disparity in the maternal mortality rate in Virginia by 2025. 
Want to learn more? Come to a listening session near you! Listening sessions are being held throughout the Commonwealth this fall. More information can be found here

Keeping Moms Covered After Baby is Born
As of September 1, 2019, eligible pregnant women are automatically transitioned from Medicaid for Pregnant Women ( MPW) to ongoing coverage at the end of their 60 day postpartum period. This way, women can continue to get the care they need to stay healthy without a break in coverage when their MPW coverage ends, after 60 days postpartum.

It is crucial for all pregnant Medicaid members to keep all household information up-to-date. This includes reporting any changes to income, address, or household size within 10 days. Keeping the family’s information current will help ensure continuous Medicaid coverage for as many moms as possible. Also, encourage new moms to report the birth of their newborns within 30 days and provide the infant’s Social Security Number when it becomes available to help ensure the baby stays covered through its first birthday and to facilitate renewal when the time comes.

The baby’s birth, Social Security Number or other household changes can be reported by:
  • Calling Cover Virginia (855.242.8282)
  • Logging into the member’s CommonHelp account
  • Calling the local department of social services 

Did You Know That Gum Disease in Pregnant Women can Impact an Unborn Baby?
Gum disease is an infection in the mouth that can impact a pregnant woman’s hormone levels and cause early labor. Premature babies have an increased risk of death and serious medical problems such as cerebral palsy, lung and digestive disease, intellectual disabilities and vision and hearing loss. To help address this, Smiles For Children has additional dental benefits for expectant mothers.

Healthy gums should have a pink appearance. Early symptoms of gum disease include: redness or bleeding of the gums during brushing, flossing, or biting into hard foods such as apples. Later symptoms include: swelling of the gums, bad breath, and gums that draw away from the teeth. As gum disease worsens, deep pockets may appear between the teeth.

Preventive practices like brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush using fluoride toothpaste, and flossing every day during pregnancy can improve the health of both the mother and child. An expectant mother should also see a dentist at least one time during her pregnancy for an oral exam and cleaning. Her dentist might also recommend at-home products such as a mouth rinse or prescription fluoride toothpaste.

Smiles For Children is Virginia’s Medicaid and FAMIS dental program for children and adults. Pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid have dental coverage. For information about Smiles For Children or to find a dentist in your area, call toll-free: 1-888-912-3456.

Renewing Medicaid/FAMIS May Be Easier than Ever!
The number of Medicaid/FAMIS members whose Medicaid health insurance is successfully renewed ex parte ( without the member completing any paperwork or being contacted by a worker) is higher than ever! 

Ex parte-eligible Virginians must be enrolled in a Medicaid/FAMIS program that uses Modified Adjusted Gross Income ( MAGI) to evaluate financial eligibility, like adults enrolled in the new Medicaid health insurance or children enrolled in FAMIS or Medicaid. An ex parte renewal happens “behind the scenes” – the member does not receive a paper renewal packet. When the annual renewal is completed ex parte, the member simply receives a Notice of Action indicating coverage has been renewed. If an ex parte renewal is not possible, the member will receive a paper renewal packet to complete via U.S. Mail.

It is important for members to keep all household information up-to-date for renewal to go smoothly. Medicaid/FAMIS members should report any changes to income, household size, or address within 10 days. Changes can be reported by:
  • Calling Cover Virginia (855.242.8282)
  • Logging into the member’s CommonHelp account
  • Calling the local department of social services

Previews of Coming Attractions

Updated Medicaid/FAMIS Correspondence
DMAS and the Virginia Department of Social Services ( VDSS) have been hard at work to make Notices of Action ( approval or denial notices), renewal notices, and other key pieces of correspondence more reader-friendly. New correspondence will be released this Fall. Stay tuned!

New, Easy-to-Complete Forms for Annual Renewal
While a significant number of Medicaid/FAMIS members are now renewed ex parte ( without having to complete a renewal form), those who must complete paperwork will soon have a new and improved renewal form to work with. DMAS and DSS gathered suggestions from patients and advocates and used them to develop the new, easy-to-read renewal forms. Stay tuned. They are coming soon!

New Profile of Virginia’s Uninsured Now Available
Each year, the Virginia Health Care Foundation releases a Profile of Virginia's Uninsured. Produced by the Urban Institute, the Profile provides a deep analysis of the most recent U.S. Census data about Virginia's uninsured, including regional rates of uninsurance, demographics, work status and much more. This year's report shows there are still 46,000 uninsured Virginia children under 200% FPL. 
Estimates in the report may be useful as organizations work hard to reach those uninsured children who are income-eligible for coverage, yet remain unenrolled. To access the report, visit

Please note: The 2019 Profile of Virginia’s Uninsured estimates do not reflect Virginia’s Medicaid expansion, which went into effect on January 1, 2019. Also, the report includes a special analysis that more accurately estimates the number of uninsured, so estimates may not match reports from other sources.

Help Promote the New Medicaid Health Insurance!
The Virginia Health Care Foundation ( VHCF) is on the lookout for stories highlighting the value of Virginia’s new Medicaid health insurance for adults. If you know someone who has benefitted from the new Medicaid ( for example: someone who has gotten diagnosis and treatment for an injury, medical or behavioral health condition, or needed medicines), we’d love to meet them!

Why? Stories of real Medicaid members are a powerful tool for communicating with newly-eligible adults, to let them know that Virginia’s Medicaid rules have changed. Click here for an example.

Although Virginia has enrolled more than 325,000 newly-eligible adults, tens of thousands remain eligible and not yet enrolled. Many do not know that they now qualify for Medicaid, especially if they have been denied in the past.

Sharing a story takes only two minutes, and can make a big impact! Please click here to share information about an adult who has benefitted from the new Medicaid health insurance. It would be great to receive it in the next two weeks. We’ll follow up and do the rest!

October Enrollment in Medicaid/FAMIS
As of October 1, there were…
  • 325,092 adults enrolled in Virginia’s new Medicaid health insurance (as of October 4)
  • 580,331 children enrolled in Medicaid (including the CHIP Medicaid Expansion)
  • 74,748 children enrolled in FAMIS
  • 1,518 women enrolled in FAMIS MOMS
  • 1,430 young adults enrolled in Medicaid for Former Foster Care youth
  • 14,183 pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid for Pregnant Women
  • 42,250 adults enrolled in Plan First