Medicaid Expansion Information
This document was created by Virginia Health Care Foundation, VAFCC, and Virginia Community Healthcare Association.
Who Would be Covered?
Nearly 400,000 uninsured adult Virginians, many of whom are the working poor, would finally be able to obtain the health care they need to address current illnesses and prevent future health problems.
These uninsured Virginians include physically and/or mentally disabled people with incomes between 80% - 138% of the Federal Poverty Level ($9,721 - $16,753), parents in a family of 3 with an annual household income less than $28,676, and single adults with an annual income under $16,753. This includes eligible veterans.
79.5% of uninsured Virginians are in working families. They often have hourly jobs with no health insurance, and work in retail, construction, and tourism. They are often just one illness or injury away from losing the jobs that are so important to their survival.
Many forgo needed medical treatment, because they can’t afford the cost of treatment or to take time from work to see a doctor.
Can’t All Uninsured Virginians Get Treatment in the Healthcare Safety Net?
No. Virginia’s healthcare safety net organizations only have the capacity to care for 30% of the 505,000 uninsured Virginians eligible for their services (200% FPL).
Many free clinics can’t handle all of the sick uninsured people who seek their help. CrossOver Healthcare Ministry in Richmond had to turn away 80 patients in the past two months alone. Arlington Free Clinic holds a monthly lottery for its limited “new patient” slots. At the same time, 32% of all community health center patients were uninsured last year compared to the 22% their federal funding is intended to cover.
Can Virginia Afford to Expand Medicaid?
Virginia can’t afford not to! Since 2014, the Commonwealth has forfeited more than $10 billion in federal money generated by Virginia taxpayers specifically to underwrite the costs of Medicaid expansion. Virginia loses $142 million every month that it doesn’t expand Medicaid.
Virginia will actually save $138 million in state money in fiscal years 2019 and 2020 by expanding Medicaid, because it can use those new federal funds to replace current state expenditures. Those savings can be applied to other needed costs and services.