The Coalition is committed to monitoring state and federal legislation that impacts access to oral health services for Virginians. Below are key issues we are focusing on in 2018.
View this webinar for a review of our 2018 legislative priorities.
Comprehensive Adult Dental Benefits in Medicaid (Item 303 #31h, Sickles; Item 303 #7s, Barker). Providing access to comprehensive dental services for more than 300,000 adults currently enrolled in Virginia Medicaid, most of whom are over 65 or disabled, will help the commonwealth related to chronic disease management, emergency department use, and a reducing in opioid prescribing. View our fact sheet, An Adult Dental Benefit in Medicaid.
Medicaid Expansion. Virginia remains one of the few states that has not expanded Medicaid coverage to provide insurance for nearly 400,000 Virginians. In December 2017, Governor McAuliffe included funds in his final budget to expand Medicaid coverage to these uninsured Virginians. VaOHC is advocating to state lawmarkers, Governor Northam, and new state leadership to ensure Medicaid expansion funding stays in place during the 2018 legislative session.
Legislation to Require State Continuation of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Mandate. We support legislation that directs Virginia to continue all mandates related to the ACA, even if the federal government overturns them.
FAMIS Funding Renewal. FAMIS ran out of federal funding in September 2017; as of January 2018, Congress is still debating over reauthorizing program funding. Known as the Children's Health Insurance Program or "CHIP" in DC, in Virginia, FAMIS provides affordable medical, dental and mental health coverage for more than 104,000 children and 4,600 pregnant women. The Coalition is joining with national and state partners to advocate at the federal level to ensure those covered under Virginia's FAMIS program do not lose access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage. Given the uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid, protecting FAMIS is more important than ever. Our friends at the Children's Dental Health Project have a blog post that provides more details.
Analyzing Health Policy Proposals. Many of the changes the new administration and Congress are likely to consider for Medicaid, Medicare and the ACA could have significant ramifications on medical, dental and mental health coverage for Virginians. We will continue to work at the state and federal levels to educate policy makers about the health and economic value of affordable and accessible comprehensive health care, analyze policy proposals, and advocate to ensure comprehensive health care is accessible, affordable and inclusive of oral health. Our friends at the Kaiser Family Foundation and Manatt do a terrific job of outlining some potential policy changes.