Health crisis may offer new care options

Ann Walker, FAMIS/Medicaid Expansion Outreach Advocate, helps connect individuals and families with health care coverage

As the number of unemployed Americans continues to grow at a rapid rate in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia Medicaid is responding by providing tools and assistance to those in need of health care coverage.

Ann Walker, FAMIS/Medicaid Expansion Outreach Advocate, said that Medicaid is for anyone who is uninsured or under insured.

“This can help many people in our area who are uninsured (or underinsured- those with large deductibles or co pays). Some who are being laid off will lose their employer benefits for themselves or family members, Walker said.

Many Virginians are now eligible for Medicaid due to employment changes during the COVID-19 outbreak. Even those denied in the past may qualify now under the current circumstances, Walker said.

There are no sign-up fees, monthly premiums or co pays for most of these services, she said, adding that eligibility is based upon family size and income and can be utilized as long as the individual stays in the eligible income bracket.

Financial eligibility is only based on income and family size. For example:  

* Single adult Virginians with a monthly income up to $1,469 (annual income up to $17,609)

* Adults in a household of three with a monthly income of $2,499 (annual income up to $29,974) may be eligible. 

* Children in families earning up to $2,680 for a family of three (annual income up to $38,776). 

Your home, land and retirement savings do not count as income.

Walker is the outreach worker for this region. She will help provide free, one-on-one help to those who want to learn about, apply for, or renew Medicaid coverage.

“People can contact me for help with the application process- am I able to do this over the phone. They can apply on line at or Call the Cover Virginia Call Center at 1-855-242-8282,” said Walker. 

“My main goal is to help the community know that there is help available to answer their questions or help them apply. My position as the Medicaid/FAMIS outreach advocate for this area is important in that often people can reach me easier than someone as DSS if they questions and many like to work with a local individual rather than deal with a stranger over the phone in Richmond,” she said. 

While there is an immediate need in the face of a global pandemic for health care coverage, Walker said there’s never a bad time to apply and have coverage. 

Applications can be completed remotely. 

For more information, contact Walker by email, phone or text at and 276-732-0509.


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