July 22, 2008
Governor Timothy M. Kaine announced Tuesday that more children and pregnant women are receiving health care coverage through Virginia’s health insurance programs than at any time in the state’s history.
“This is great news for children and families in Virginia. By providing more women with access to prenatal care earlier in their pregnancy, I am hopeful that we will significantly increase the number of healthy infants born in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Kaine.
Governor Kaine has made it a priority in his administration to get more uninsured but eligible children enrolled in Virginia’s health insurance programs. As a result, approximately 450,000 children in the state are now covered by FAMIS or FAMIS Plus (children’s Medicaid).
Through expanded marketing and outreach initiatives including radio ads in English and Spanish and the launch of an advertising campaign aimed at teens, enrollment in FAMIS and FAMIS Plus has grown by more than 24,000 children since Governor Kaine took office.
As a result of the initiative, Virginia now ranks 14th in the nation for the largest State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) enrollment, according to the latest findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The number of pregnant women covered through Medicaid and FAMIS MOMS, the SCHIP program for pregnant women, also reached an enrollment record of more than 17,500. This represents an increase of nearly 1,200 women since January, 2006.
These programs provide access to critical prenatal and postpartum care. The increased coverage for Virginia’s pregnant women can be attributed to an increase in the income limits for FAMIS MOMS from 150% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) in 2006 to the current level of 185%.
A further increase in the income limits to 200 percent of FPL, which was recommended by the Governor and approved by the 2008 General Assembly, will take effect on July 1, 2009.
In April, 2008, Governor Kaine announced the creation of the Office of Early Childhood Development to provide a seamless continuum of services and education to Virginia's neediest children and their families.