2018 Legislative Priorities

2018 Legislative Priorities

Our 2018 Focus

Watch this webinar to learn more about our legislative priorities for 2018 (originally presented in December 2017). 


  • Medicaid Expansion.  Virginia legislators passed a budget compromise during a special session in May 2018 that expands Medicaid eligibility for 300,000 Virginians who earn  just over $16,000 for an individual and $28,000 for a family of three. Hundreds of thousands of Virginians will now have access to affordable health and mental health services, and a limited dental benefit. 
  • Comprehensive Adult Dental Benefits in Medicaid.  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 by improving chronic disease management, decreasing emergency department use and spending for dental-related issues, and reducing opioid prescribing.  View our fact sheet, An Adult Dental Benefit in Medicaid. We continue to work toward this goal beyond 2018. 
  • Legislation to Require State Continuation of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Mandate.  We supported 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; Congress reauthorized program funding in late January 2018 for six more years as part of a broader continuing resolution.  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 may consider for Medicaid, Medicare and the ACA could have significant ramifications on medical, dental and mental health coverage for Virginians.  We 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. 

Our Impact

The Coalition staff and leadership thank the legislators who voted for the health and well-being of Virginians by passing a budget compromise that expands Medicaid coverage eligibility for more than 300,000 Virginians.  We also thank our myriad partners for their nonstop advocacy as we strive together to create a healthier Virginia.  The Coalition made progress toward a comprehensive adult dental benefit in Medicaid and will continue working to meet this goal beyond 2018, in addition to monitoring state and federal threats to existing, affordable health and dental coverage. 


4200 Innslake Drive, Suite 103, Glen Allen, VA 23060  |  804.269.8720  |
Copyright 2018 by Virginia Oral Health Coalition | Legal Notice | Terms