Reminder: Annual Renewal Coming Soon!
Medicaid/FAMIS enrollees must renew their coverage annually. When possible, the local Department of Social Services ( LDSS ) will attempt to renew an enrollee without contacting the enrollee. This is called an ex parte renewal.

For some newly-enrolled adults, renewal may be right around the corner, even if their New Adult Coverage just began on January 1:
  • Adults who were automatically transitioned to the New Adult Coverage (from GAP or Plan First) will maintain the annual renewal date from their prior program

  • Adults who completed an Express Application (either as SNAP enrollees or as parents of a child enrolled in FAMIS Plus) will need to renew by their SNAP recertification date, or their child’s renewal date.

  • Adults who completed the full application should expect to get a renewal packet around 10 months after their coverage began. Many newly-eligible adults may find that their local DSS is able to complete their annual renewal ex parte, so they do not need to complete any paperwork at renewal time.

When LDSS renews an enrollee ex parte , s/he will get a Notice of Action that shows that his/her Medicaid/FAMIS coverage will continue for another year. If the LDSS cannot complete an enrollee’s renewal ex parte, s/he will get a prepopulated renewal form in the mail. S/he can then complete the renewal by:
  • Calling Cover Virginia at 1-855-242-8282

  • Going online to and “Associating” his/her case with his/her CommonHelp account (Note: The enrollee will need a Case Number and a Client ID number to do this). From there, s/he can select “Renew My Coverage” and complete the renewal online.

  • Correcting any information on the prepopulated renewal form, signing it, and mailing it to the LDSS.

Medicaid/FAMIS Enrollees Must Keep Information Up-to-Date
Medicaid/FAMIS enrollees must report any changes within 10 calendar days ( especially changes in address, income, or household size ). Failure to update information may result in a cancellation of coverage ( for example, when mail from the DSS is returned, the enrollee’s coverage is automatically cancelled ). When you help individuals and families apply, remind them to keep their address, income, and household information fully up-to-date with their LDSS or Cover Virginia.

A Medicaid/FAMIS enrollee can report changes by:
  • Calling Cover Virginia at 1-855-242-8282.

  • Going online to, and “Associating” his/her case with a CommonHelp account (Note: The enrollee will need a Case Number and a Client ID number). From there, s/he can select “Report my Changes” to update his/her information.

  • Completing a Change Request form and submitting it to the LDSS.

Best Practices Once an Application is Submitted
  1. Be sure a client knows how to access his/her CommonHelp account. Write down the client’s tracking number (“T-number”), username, password, and answers to security questions and give to him/her for safe keeping. If the client gave you permission to follow up with the LDSS or Cover Virginia about an application on his/her behalf, you will need the T-number to get case status information, including the name of the worker processing the case from the Cover Virginia Call Center. The name of the worker managing a case is available from Cover Virginia about 2 weeks after the application was submitted. 
  2. Submit verifications timely. Write client’s name and case number on each page of the verifications you submit.
  3. Advise the client to check the box giving the LDSS consent to verify information electronically for up to 5 years. This makes it possible for the LDSS to attempt to renew the person’s coverage ex parte. Remember, checking the box does not mean the LDSS can always find information electronically. The person may still have to complete a renewal form.
  4. Remind your client to open mail from any of the following: Cover Virginia, the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS), LDSS, and his/her Managed Care Organization (MCO).
  5. Encourage your client to think about any providers s/he wishes to provide their healthcare. Help him/her figure out if those providers participate with a Virginia Medicaid MCO. 

Managed Care Organizations ( MCOs ): What You Need to Know
An MCO is a health plan with a group of doctors and other healthcare providers who work together to give health services to the MCO’s members. MCOs have a specific network of providers, including doctors, pharmacies, hospitals, and specialists that an enrollee can go to for healthcare services. There are six MCOs that offer Medicaid coverage in Virginia: Anthem HealthKeepers Plus, Aetna Better Health, Magellan CompleteCare, Optima Health, UnitedHealthcare and Virginia Premier Elite. They all serve members across the entire state, enrolled in any Medicaid/FAMIS plan.

Choosing an MCO
Within the first two months of being approved for Medicaid/FAMIS coverage, most Medicaid/FAMIS enrollees are automatically enrolled in an MCO. 

Enrollees who were automatically assigned to an MCO can change to a different MCO within the first 90 days of becoming enrolled in an MCO. After the first 90 days, Medicaid/FAMIS enrollees can only change their MCO once a year ( unless special circumstances arise ). The chart below summarizes when a Medicaid/FAMIS enrollee can change MCOs after the initial opportunity to change.
When choosing an MCO, it’s important to think about which providers an enrollee may want to provide his/her healthcare. It’s also important to make sure that the doctor an enrollee wants to care for him/her is accepting new patients.

Note: If a Medicaid/FAMIS enrollee has special or complex medical needs, s/he will be enrolled in an MCO program called Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus ( CCC Plus ) that helps coordinate the enrollee’s care. Otherwise the person is enrolled in an MCO through the Medallion 4.0 program.

How to see which healthcare providers participate with a particular MCO
To look up whether a provider is in an MCO’s network, Medallion 4.0 enrollees can check out the Integrated Provider Search Tool on . To get to the Integrated Provider Search Tool, hover over Choose (Find health plans and providers) on the homepage, and when the drop-down menu appears, select “Find a Provider.”

From there, search for a specific provider, or search within a radius to find a provider located convenient to the enrollee. The enrollee will be able to see which MCOs that provider accepts, whether the provider is taking new patients, and whether the provider can serve as the enrollee’s Primary Care Provider ( PCP ).

A CCC Plus enrollee must use the Integrated Provider Search tool on . S/he should hover over Choose (Find health plans and providers) on the homepage, and select “Find a Provider” from the drop-down menu.

Note: Just because a provider is in a company’s CCC Plus network does not mean s/he will also be in that company’s Medallion 4.0 network, so it’s important to search using the correct website.

Choosing or Changing a Primary Care Provider ( PCP )
Most MCOs require a member to choose a Primary Care Provider ( PCP ). If a newly-enrolled member does not select a PCP within the first 25 days of being enrolled, the MCO may assign that person a PCP. The enrollee can change his/her PCP at any time. After an enrollee changes his/her PCP, s/he will get a new MCO card with the new PCP’s name on it.

Things for Your Client to Consider When Picking a Dentist 
Did you ever wonder why the dentist does a certain kind of treatment? Or why you sometimes need to make more than one appointment to fix your teeth?  

Sometimes dentists explain what they are doing during your dental treatment, and sometimes they don’t. If they don’t, it’s okay to ask questions. Or if you are a parent, you can ask questions about your child’s treatment. Dentists will be happy to give you answers. It’s part of their job.

It is important to find a dentist you like and trust, because it makes asking questions easier. When you visit the same dental office over and over again, that office is called your dental home . The dentist and their staff welcome you to the office and get to know you and your family. If other members of your family visit the dentist, then it is their dental home too. We recommend that your family see the dentist every 6 months.  

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

SignUpNow Milestones: 50 Workshops and 2,000 Trainees
On March 1, VHCF completed its 50th SignUpNow workshop and trained its 2,000th person since October 2018! We’re not done yet! Check out to find a SUN training near you!
SignUpNow teaches the “ins and outs” of the eligibility requirements, application procedures, and post-enrollment information for Virginia’s Medicaid and FAMIS programs:
  • New adult coverage
  • Programs for children and pregnant women
  • Plan First (family planning)
  • Low Income Families and Children (LIFC) program

SignUpNow participants will be able to provide hands-on assistance to individuals and families who want to apply for Medicaid or FAMIS. 

Please share information about SignUpNow with colleagues, including those who work in non-healthcare organizations. More than 150,000 Virginians still need help applying for the New Adult Coverage and more than 59,000 Virginia children are eligible for coverage, but not enrolled.

Keep Track of New Adult Enrollments with the DMAS Expansion Dashboard
To stay current on the number of newly-eligible adults enrolled in Virginia’s New Health Coverage for Adults, check out the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services’ dashboard at . The dashboard breaks down the number of new adult enrollees by locality, age, gender and income as a percentage of the Federal Poverty Level.

DMAS updates the dashboard every two weeks, so you can follow Virginia’s progress in enrolling newly-eligible adults. As of March 22 over 251,000 adults were enrolled!

What does the New Coverage Mean for Local/Regional Jails?
When the New Adult Coverage began in January 2019, many individuals who are incarcerated became eligible for Medicaid coverage for inpatient hospitalizations. Since these individuals have a specific set of needs, the Cover Virginia Inmate Unit ( CVIU ) was created to receive and process their applications. The CVIU will also manage their cases after enrollment.

Jail staff are encouraged to assist newly-eligible inmates with applying for Medicaid. It is recommended that jail staff make an appointment with Cover Virginia to help the inmate apply for coverage. Staff can call 833-818-8752 to schedule application appointments and help inmates apply.

A person is not automatically re-evaluated upon release, so it’s important to make sure a “Communication Form” is submitted 45 days before the person is scheduled to be released to ensure that s/he has full coverage upon leaving jail. The “Communication Form” lets the CVIU know to move the enrollee into full, “community” Medicaid ( New Adult Coverage ).

Thank you to our sponsors!
VHCF is grateful to the following organizations for supporting SignUpNow workshops and/or lunches to ensure that as many “helpers” as possible know how to assist Virginians in applying for Medicaid and FAMIS: Aetna Better Health of Virginia, Anthem HealthKeepers, Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Fund, Bon Secours Richmond, Bon Secours Virginia Health System, Cameron Foundation, Carilion Clinic, Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Danville Regional Foundation, Families Forward, Inova Health System, Jenkins Foundation, Magellan Health, Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health and Wellness, Mary Washington Healthcare Foundation, Northern Virginia Health Foundation, Novant Health UVA Health System, Obici Healthcare Foundation, PATH Foundation, Potomac Health Foundation, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, Robins Foundation, United HealthCare, United Way – Thomas Jefferson Area, Valley Health, VCU Health, Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) and Williamsburg Health Foundation

Enrollment Update: As of April 1, 2019, there were:
255,592 adults enrolled in the New Adult Coverage
107,765 adults enrolled in Medicaid for Low-Income Families with Children (LIFC)
1,228 young adults enrolled in Medicaid for Former Foster Care Youth (FFC)* ( *March 1 data )
40,909 adults enrolled in Plan First
575,760 children enrolled in FAMIS Plus
71,649 children enrolled in FAMIS
14,295 pregnant women enrolled in Medicaid for Pregnant Women (MPW)
1,278 pregnant women enrolled in FAMIS MOMS