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Virginia to expand access to health care through state-based health insurance exchange

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Posted at 6:15 PM, Aug 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-23 18:15:51-04

RICHMOND, Va. - Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia has been approved to proceed with a state-based health insurance exchange.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services approved for the state to take over some functions of its current federal exchange beginning with open enrollment this November, putting the Commonwealth on a path to full control by 2023.

“This approval could not come at a more critical time as we continue to battle COVID-19,” said Governor Northam. “The Trump administration is doing everything possible to gut the Affordable Care Act and kick families off their health insurance, and a state-based exchange will give Virginia the autonomy we need to expand access to care and reduce premiums. As governor and as a physician, I will never stop fighting for affordable, high-quality health care.”

The establishment of the Virginia Exchange, allows the state to implement policies to better address costs. Virginia will be able to work directly with insurance companies to meet the health coverage needs of all Virginians purchasing coverage, including small employers. The state will also be able to provide more targeted outreach and enrollment services and extend the time Virginians have to enroll in coverage, if needed. Officials say these strategies will expand access to health care and help increase overall affordability.

More than 452,000 Virginians have enrolled in new health care coverage since 2018. More than 125,603 Virginians, including 41,272 children, enrolled in Medicaid since the COVID-19 state of emergency was declared in Virginia on March 12.