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Medicaid Expansion Exceeds Goal in Virginia

A health insurance claim form next to glasses and a pen.
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Enrollment for Medicaid expansion began January 1, and the state projected around 200,000 people would enroll by June. Virginia has already surpassed that goal with about 277,000 new enrollees so far, according to the state Medicaid agency.

Freddy Mejia is a healthcare policy analyst with the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis. He’s been analyzing the breakdown of new enrollees by age, sex, and region. More than a third are parents and over a quarter are young women ages 19-34.

“Expanded adult eligibility will likely lead to higher health coverage rates for uninsured children in Virginia,” Mejia said.

But Mejia says one important data piece is missing.

“Unfortunately at this point we are still waiting on data by race,” Mejia said. “Which is something that I think we should really be able to take a look at in order to see what communities are benefiting the most from this, opportunities, and missed opportunities.”

A spokesperson for Virginia’s Medicaid agency said they’re working to address this issue. One big challenge: people who apply for Medicaid aren’t required to identify their race.


Megan Pauly reports on early childhood and higher education news in Virginia
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