Microblog #62: What does Medicaid expansion mean for housing?

Virginia is getting ready for an expanded Medicaid program in 2019. What do housing advocates need to know?

Medicaid expansion begins January 1, 2019 and Virginians are gearing up for the change. What will be in store? Stay tuned to the State’s healthcare site for the latest updates. For housing professionals the most significant changes will come after the first of the year through what is called a “1115 Waiver.”

Last week, the State’s Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) published its proposed waiver and is holding public meetings and seeking public comment until October 20th. While Medicaid reimbursements cannot cover room and board, the proposed waiver allows for a detailed list of housing support services for high risk* Medicaid recipients.

Most agree this is a productive step in the right direction, but some organizations have expressed concern about the proposed work requirements, insurance premiums for working low income individuals and the complexity of the new health and wellness program.

* Under Medicaid high risk individuals are those that meet health needs-based criteria (mental illness, or substance use disorder, or a complex, chronic condition) and who have specific risk factors (e.g., chronic homelessness, involvement with criminal justice system, frequent stays in institutional settings, frequent ED visits and hospitalizations, etc.)

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