Charlottesville pediatrician urging families to update info ahead of Medicaid changes
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A policy that guaranteed continued Medicaid coverage in Virginia during the coronavirus pandemic is ending.
Pediatricians are now working to assure patients that they won’t be affected by the change.
The pandemic created a new approach to Medicaid: Rather than applying to renew coverage each year, patients were on “continuous enrollment.”
That’s all changing April 1. This comes as federal emergency money goes away.
“Across the Commonwealth of Virginia, and across the nation, people have been trying to get prepared for this. We all knew this was going to happen at some point, and now that date is set,” Doctor Paige Perriello said Tuesday, February 21.
Families will have to apply if they want to stay covered.
“If you got onto Medicaid for the first time during the pandemic, you have never had to do this application, which is quite cumbersome,” Dr. Perriello said.
Perriello is with Pediatric Associates of Charlottesville. She says she fears for her patients that get full coverage from Medicaid.
“It’s how they get their prescriptions, it’s how they come to see us at the pediatricians’ office, how they go to see specialists, and how they access mental health care, dental, health care, and all the things that they need,” she said.
Coverage does not end April 1, just he continuous enrollment. Dr. Perriello is urging families to update their information before then.
“Many people have moved multiple times during the pandemic and had different changes of address and different phone numbers, and if that information is not in the system, then there would be no way for them to know that their coverage has lapsed,” she said.
If you need help changing your information, you can go to coverva.org, which Dr. Perriello says is one of the groups helping make sure people stay enrolled. To go ahead and update it on your own you will go through Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services at Home - Department of Medical Assistance Services (virginia.gov), also known as DMAS. You can also call 1-833-5CALLVA.
Those outlets will help you update your information and tell you when your current coverage will end so you can apply for the next round. Dr. Perriello says you can also reach out to you pediatrician or other people who have helped you in the process. She says Pediatric Associates will be doing some office hours and will have resources to help for families so that they can drop in and find out more.
“We’re very dedicated to being sure that we help families know that this is happening and that they don’t lose their coverage,” Perriello said.
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