VHHA launches radio, digital ads to promote healthcare coverage enrollment

vhha Virginia Hospital & Healthcare AssociationThe Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association has launched radio and digital ads to encourage the 400,000 Virginians who are newly eligible for low-cost healthcare coverage in the Commonwealth to visit www.coverva.org to enroll for new coverage that begins Jan. 1, 2019.

The new radio ad can be heard here, and an example of the digital ads can be seen here. The radio and digital ads demonstrate the ongoing commitment by Virginia’s community hospitals and health systems to increase access to high-quality health care for Virginians as part of the pursuit to make the Commonwealth the healthiest state in the nation.

The ads will air on radio stations across Virginia in media markets including Richmond, Hampton Roads, Roanoke, Charlottesville, and the Shenandoah Valley. VHHA and its members are active partners with state government and elected officials in the effort to improve the health care delivery system and raise public awareness about new coverage eligibility and enrollment.

“Local hospitals and health care providers across Virginia are committed to providing the very best care and service to the millions of patients served each year by hospitals in the Commonwealth,” said Valley Health System President and CEO Mark H. Merrill, the Chairman of VHHA’s Board of Directors. “As members of the health care community, we are happy to help spread the word about new, low-cost health care coverage options for Virginia adults because we know that a healthier Virginia is a stronger, more prosperous Virginia.”

“It took years of work by elected leaders, Virginia’s hospitals, and many other advocates and stakeholders to secure increased access to coverage for thousands of uninsured Virginians,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “Now that new coverage is available, we strongly urge any Virginian who lacks health insurance to visit www.coverva.org to see if they qualify for coverage. Eligibility is based on income criteria, among other factors, and is available to many people who work but don’t have health insurance through their employer. Even people who did not qualify for coverage when they previously applied should check again because the eligibility rules have changed.”

This year, Virginia’s hospital community collaborated with Governor Ralph Northam’s Administration and members of the Virginia General Assembly to reach a compromise on bringing back to the Commonwealth federal funds to expand health insurance coverage. This federal funding was money the Commonwealth had forfeited for several years. Accepting it will benefit public health, the Commonwealth, and the economy.

In June, Governor Northam signed the compromise state budget, which includes funding support for coverage from Virginia hospitals through a provider assessment mechanism. Since then, VHHA and its members have engaged on stakeholder working groups, among other efforts, to help prepare the Commonwealth for this new coverage program. During September, October, and November, VHHA and several of its member hospitals partnered with the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) to help coordinate a series of informational forums around the state about new health care coverage in Virginia.

Coverage enrollment through www.coverva.org began Nov. 1 for newly eligible people earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). Assuming other factors, that means a childless adult making roughly $16,754 in annual income would be eligible for coverage. Adults in a two-person household earning a total $22,715 would be eligible, adults in a three-person household earning a total of $28,677 would be eligible, and adults in a four-person household earning a total of $34,638 would be eligible.

Virginians interested in learning more about new, low-cost health care coverage are strongly encouraged to visit www.coverva.org to get informed and enroll. People can also call 1-855-2428282 for more information.

The information phone line for people who are hearing impaired is 1-888-221-1590.

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