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In This Issue:
  • Policy Spotlight: Self-Attestation
  • Policy Myth-Busting: Non-Financial Eligibility for the FAMIS Programs
  • Income Guidelines Updated for 2018
  • Health Insurance Marketplace Updates
  • NEW! FAMIS Webinars for School Professionals
  • Hellos and Goodbyes at the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services and Virginia Department of Social Services
  • Soft Drinks and Oral Health
  • New Profile of the Uninsured Now Available
  • April Enrollment in the FAMIS Programs

Policy Spotlight - Self-Attestation
Often, when a family applies for state-sponsored health insurance, the local Department of Social Services ( LDSS ) or Cover Virginia Central Processing Unit requests documents to verify the applicant's income or other information needed to assess eligibility. An applicant must provide these verifications in a timely manner, or the application may be denied for failure to provide the necessary documents.

Sometimes, an applicant is unable to obtain requested documents from an employer, even after repeated attempts, because the employer refuses or is unable to provide the materials. When this happens, the applicant should notify the Eligibility Worker assigned to his/her case that the employer has refused or is unable to provide the documents as soon as possible. From there, the agency will attempt to assist the applicant with obtaining verifications.

Only after an applicant has alerted an Eligibility Worker that s/he was unable to receive the needed verifications from an employer, and the Eligibility Worker has attempted to obtain the documents, will a written statement from the applicant providing the requested information be accepted.

Policy Myth-busting: Non-Financial Eligibility for the FAMIS Programs
MYTH #1: A child applying for coverage through the FAMIS programs must be a U.S. Citizen in order to qualify.
FACT: A child must be under 19 years of age, live in Virginia, and be either a U.S. Citizen  or a lawfully-residing non-citizen  to qualify for coverage through the FAMIS programs.

MYTH #2: A child applying for FAMIS coverage must be uninsured for three months before s/he can qualify.
FACT: To qualify for FAMIS coverage only, a child must be uninsured at the time of application.  There is no longer a requirement that a child be uninsured for three months prior to application in order to qualify.  A child can qualify for FAMIS Plus even if he/she has other insurance at the time of application.

MYTH #3: A child applying for coverage through the FAMIS programs must have parents who are U.S. Citizens or lawfully-residing immigrants to qualify.
FACT:  A parent's immigration status is not considered when determining eligibility for a child.  Unless a parent is also seeking coverage, the parent should not be asked about his/her immigration status when applying for coverage for a child.

Have a policy-related question, or a policy "myth" you'd like  SignUpNow to clarify in a future Outreach Newsletter? Email .

Income Guidelines Updated for 2018
The Income Guidelines for Virginia's Health Insurance Programs for Families & Children have been updated with the release of the new Federal Poverty Levels. The new figures went into effect on January 18, 2018. The 2018 income chart for FAMIS, FAMIS Plus, FAMIS MOMS, Medicaid for Pregnant Women, and Plan First is  here .

Health Insurance Marketplace Updates

Great Response to Marketplace Open Enrollment in Virginia
The fifth Open Enrollment Period for the Federally Facilitated Marketplace ( FFM, or "Marketplace") occurred last November and December. The Marketplace provides a place for families to shop for quality, affordable health insurance coverage. While the Open Enrollment Period for 2018 was 50% shorter than the previous year, 400,015 Virginians enrolled in coverage ( just 10,000 fewer than the year before).
Many parents whose children qualify for the FAMIS programs are eligible for coverage through the Marketplace. Don't forget: Families may apply for the FAMIS Programs year-round!
Special Enrollment Periods and the Health Insurance Marketplace
While Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace ended on December 15, 2017, individuals and families who have recently moved, experienced changes in income or household size, or had other qualifying life events may be able to access a Special Enrollment Period ( SEP ) to enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace.

Get details on SEPs here . To get in touch with a Navigator who can provide one-on-one assistance with a Marketplace application at any time of the year, call 1-888-392-5132.

NEW! FAMIS Webinars for School Professionals
Do you know a busy school-based professional who could benefit from knowing more about the FAMIS programs, but may not have time to complete the
SignUpNow online modules? The Virginia Health Care Foundation ( VHCF) has teamed up with the Virginia Department of Education to develop a thirty-minute webinar just for them!

This webinar is an excellent tool to learn the basics of eligibility and how to apply for the FAMIS programs. Head on over to VHCF's website to learn more.

NOTE: SignUpNow in-person trainings will resume this Fall. The online modules are available here  year-round!

Hellos and Goodbyes at the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) and Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS)
SignUpNow  bids a fond farewell and offers deep thanks to three longtime leaders and child health champions: Cindi Jones, DMAS Director, who retired in January; Linda Nablo, DMAS Deputy Director, who retired in March; and Margaret Schultze, VDSS Commissioner, who retired in January. Their many years of service to Virginia's children and families have made a difference in many lives.
SignUpNow also extends congratulations and a hearty "Welcome!" to several individuals who have taken on new leadership roles in service to Virginia's children and families:
  • Jennifer Lee, MD, is the DMAS Director
  • Duke Storen is the VDSS Commissioner
  • Sherry Sinkler-Crawley is the VDSS Medical Assistance Manager

Soft Drinks and Oral Health
According to the American Dental Association, drinking beverages that contain sugar, carbonation, or acid ( including sodas, juice drinks, sports drinks, and other beverages with added sugar ), commonly known as "soft drinks," can increase your risk for cavities. The sugar and acid in these drinks create a perfect home for the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease, especially if you tend to sip on these drinks all day.

Did you know...
  • Most 12- to 19-year-old boys drink 868 cans of soda per year!
  • Each can of regular soda contains almost ΒΌ cup of sugar!
  • Researchers now say that soda is one of the most significant causes of cavities and obesity in today's teens!

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 59,000 uninsured Virginia children under 200% FPL. 
This 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 .

April Enrollment in the FAMIS Programs
As of April 1, there were...
  • 562,426 children enrolled in Medicaid (including the CHIP Medicaid Expansion)
  • 70,392 children enrolled in FAMIS
  • 1,170 women enrolled in FAMIS MOMS
  • 997 young adults enrolled in Medicaid for Former Foster Care youth
  • 15,531 women enrolled in Medicaid for Pregnant Women
  • 129,706 adults enrolled in Plan First

OralHealthSo, what can you do?
  1. Say NO to sticky, sugary drinks. Reach for water instead. Aim for 8-12 cups of water each day for a healthy mouth and body.
  2. Eat a piece of cheddar cheese after a meal to help produce saliva. Bonus: The calcium in cheese helps harden teeth!
  3. Chew a stick of sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol, which curbs cavity-causers and increases saliva.
  4. Snack on crispy fruits and veggies (think apples, carrots, and celery) to rid your mouth of food particles.
  5. See a dentist at your regular dental home every six months. Brush and floss teeth daily.
Choosing the right dentist is very important. Families covered by  Smiles For Children  ( FAMIS, FAMIS Plus, and Virginia Medicaid ) can call 1-888-912-3456 or go to the  DentaQuest website  for help finding a dentist they like and trust.