Closing the Health Insurance Coverage Gap and increasing funding to the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program have been long time priorities of AARP Virginia.  On Wednesday, May 30, 2018 the Virginia General Assembly passed a new two-year state budget that addresses both. 

By a vote of 23 – 17 in the State Senate, and a vote of 68 – 30 in the House of Delegates (with two not voting), Virginia expanded Medicaid coverage to nearly 400,000 Virginians, including 95,000 people over 50 who are not yet eligible for Medicare.  Included in this vote was a modest increase for Long-Term Care Ombudsmen – advocates who help resolve care problems and issues of patients’ rights for those that live in long-term care facilities. 

The road to expansion has been long, marked by fierce resistance and tough debate.  Indeed, this budget is a compromise, which means it has some provisions – including a work requirement and lock-out periods that could provide unnecessary hurdles to obtaining coverage - that AARP opposes.  We will continue our work to improve these parts.  But that doesn’t overshadow the immense accomplishment of closing the coverage gap.  

In the end, this was truly a bipartisan effort.  Because of you – through all the phone calls, emails, town hall meetings, social media engagements, and visits with legislators, we can celebrate this MAJOR achievement. 

We have one more thing we’d like to ask you to do – Please thank your State Senator or House of Delegates member if they voted to support expanding Medicaid and increased funding for Long-Term Care Ombudsman. 

Again, please thank your State Senator or House of Delegates member TODAY for supporting the new two-year state budget that expands Medicaid and increases funding to Long-Term Care Ombudsmen. 




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