Medicaid expansion allows more people to enroll

Local News

About 400,000 Virginians are now eligible for potentially life-saving health care thanks to the Medicaid expansion.

It went into effect on January 1, and now, people are rushing to get enrolled.

The expansion has opened the door for more people like Michael Rackliff to have access to medical care they were lacking before.

Rackliff enrolled in Medicaid coverage on Monday after visiting the Rescue Mission’s G. Wayne Fralin Free Clinic for the Homeless. He says he was only able to because of the recent expansion.

“No insurance, no nothing. I was not able to go to the doctor or anything like that, not even check-ups. So this is well needed for me,” Rackliff said. 

Adults without children now qualify for Medicaid. The maximum income for people to be eligible has also gone up to include more people.

“A lot of people need this to get help from health care,” said Rackliff.

Enrollment specialist Lois Caliri has been helping people like Michael get enrolled at the clinic.

“I mean its a game changer because up until now, adults in Virginia had a difficult time getting Medicaid. They pretty much had to be blind, disabled or aging,” said Caliri.

It’s something Helen Ferguson with the clinic says will help patients get care sooner, rather than later.

“They don’t have to wait until it’s life or death or they’re in such pain. They can actually do preventative care,” said Ferguson.

She described preventative care as an act that could save lives and get people much needed care before it’s too late. 

Anyone with any questions about enrolling can visit the website or contact their Local Department of Social Services.

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