New Story Book Shows Faces of Virginia’s Coverage Gap

Click to download a PDF of the story book.

One of the most hotly debated issues in health care for several years has been Virginia’s refusal to expand its Medicaid program, which would allow more working families to have access to health care. As a result of this inaction, hundreds of thousands of low-income adults fall into a coverage gap. With income below the poverty line, they are too poor to qualify for subsidized insurance from the federal Marketplace, but they make too much money to qualify for Virginia’s current Medicaid program.

If Virginia lawmakers close this coverage gap, nearly 400,000 Virginians across the Commonwealth could get access to quality, affordable health insurance.

These are real people. With real lives. They live in every community across the state. And each person in the coverage gap has a story to tell.

Click here to read six of them.

What’s It Going to Take?

From the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis:

Last week, Louisiana’s new governor signed an executive order to close the coverage gap for the 292,000 low-income residents of his state who have waited two years for their state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

With this action by Gov. John Bel Edwards, Louisiana joins 30 states and the District of Columbia – including 10 with Republican governors – in the common-sense decision to close the coverage gap.

By closing the gap, these states are seeing historic gains in coverage and will continue to reap the benefits as their residents get the health care they need to work, take care of their children, and be productive members of their communities without having to worry about an illness bankrupting them.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, 400,000 people across the state are still waiting.

Lawmakers again have the opportunity to close the coverage gap and have the federal government pay 100 percent of the cost through the end of this year.

They have, again, the opportunity to help those in their communities who often have to choose between life-saving medical treatments and bankruptcy.

They have, again, the opportunity to help people who work in some of the most important sectors of Virginia’s economy, including tourism, retail, and construction, but who don’t have and can’t afford health insurance.

They have, again, the opportunity to save millions of taxpayer dollars by using federal money to pay for health care services the state currently covers.

With a growing number of states having closed their coverage gaps, a fresh proposal in front of them this legislative session, and mounting evidence that it not only increases the number of people with insurance, but also saves money, lawmakers are out of excuses.

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HAV Advocacy Day – January 27, 2016

Make your voice heard this General Assembly session! 

The Healthcare for All Virginians Coalition’s Legislative Advocacy Day is on Wednesday, January 27 from 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. No previous advocacy experience needed. Your personal perspective and passion about providing quality, affordable health care for all Virginians and closing the coverage gap are all you need to help make a difference.