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COVID-19 and Record Unemployment Leave Many Virginians Without Health Insurance

Contact: Ann Walker

Outreach Advocate

Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health & Wellness

(276) 732-0509


Martinsville, VA – The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused the greatest loss of health insurance in American history. According to recent reports from the Urban Institute and Families USA, over 5.4 million workers lost their health insurance when they lost their jobs between February and May. In Virginia, an estimated 525,208 adults have lost both their jobs and their health insurance due to COVID-19.

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Medicaid and FAMIS health insurance programs cover comprehensive health care services free of charge. This includes testing and treatment for COVID-19. Many newly-unemployed Virginians may not be aware that they now qualify for this comprehensive health coverage. Even individuals who have been denied in the past may now be eligible.

Monthly income and family size are the only criteria used to evaluate financial eligibility for Medicaid and FAMIS. Your home, land, and retirement savings do not count as income when determining Medicaid or FAMIS eligibility. COVID-19 stimulus checks (Economic Impact Payments from the IRS), and the $600/week in additional federal unemployment also do not count as income and will not affect a person’s eligibility.

Martinsville-Henry County Coalition for Health & Wellness (MHCCHW) has a local Outreach Worker available to provide free, one-on-one assistance to anyone who wants to learn about, apply for, or renew Medicaid or FAMIS coverage. MHCCHW’s Outreach Worker is committed to working safely during the ongoing health crisis and can provide all application assistance remotely following appropriate social distancing guidlines.

Connect with MHCCHW’s Outreach Worker today by calling or texting (276) 732-0509 or emailing: awalker@healthycommunitymhc.org. Medicaid and FAMIS coverage starts on the first day of the month in which you apply, so do not delay in applying for the coverage you have earned.

MHCCHW’s Outreach Worker is supported by a special initiative of the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF), in partnership with the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and The Harvest Foundation. VHCF was initiated by the General Assembly and its Joint Commission on Health Care in 1992 as a public/private partnership with a mission to increase access to primary health care for uninsured and medically underserved Virginians. Since its inception, it has funded 430 community-based projects across the Commonwealth, and its programs and partnerships have touched the lives of more than 700,000 uninsured Virginians.

For more information about VHCF and its programs, visit www.vhcf.org or call (804) 828-5804.

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